Arkansas taps Tier Technologies for workforce services

Unemployed residents of Arkansas who are looking for jobs will get automated assistance from an upgrade to the state's Department of Workforce Services' phone system.

Tier Technologies Inc., Reston, Va., won a $1.1 million contract to improve the department's interactive voice-response system with natural language speech recognition and to install a new claims application-by-telephone system. The contract has options for annual maintenance.

The state's unemployment insurance claims process requires people to report in-person to a local department field office. A claimant fills out paper forms that department staff enter manually into a state intranet, or files a claim via a personal computer located at field offices. The upgraded voice-response system will let claimants electronically enter claims data via telephone, thus increasing accessibility.

The department links employers with qualified job applicants, helps people find work or training, and offers unemployment insurance benefits to those eligible. It also facilitates employer compliance with Arkansas Employment Security Law, collects unemployment insurance contributions, and produces and communicates labor market information.

Tier Technologies provides transaction processing, packaged software and systems integration services. It has about 860 employees and annual sales of $127.9 million in fiscal 2004, according to Hoover's Online, Austin, Texas.

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