Our Job Assistance Portals provide job seekers and employers free access to a complete set of employment tools designed for all levels of computer experience. A virtual ‘one-stop shop,’ the portals assist job seekers with résumé creation, career exploration, skills assessments, upskill opportunities, job applications, training resources, and more. Employers can also post job listings and search for qualified candidates.
Portals provide a custom-branded message of employment assistance and can be implemented as a standalone solution or linked to any statewide system we support. The option to link a portal to a statewide system already in place offers many benefits, including the tracking of individuals and services, as well as meeting requirements for local, state, and federal reporting.
Our veteran portals are designed to help returning veterans find good jobs and to match a state’s military population with employers. This includes matching veterans with jobs based on their military skills and Military Occupation Code (MOC).
These portals assist individuals with disabilities find suitable employment opportunities. They highlight jobs that accommodate the disabled and include content on available local programs that can assist them.
Our senior worker portals assist businesses and organizations with hiring job seekers over the age of 50. The sites provide useful information to older, retirement-age job seekers who wish to remain in - or return to - the workforce or those who are looking to volunteer.
These portals provide career resources for individuals seeking information on green jobs and training in green industries. They offer sophisticated job search tools to identify jobs tagged as green jobs and provide job content for employers. In addition, the portals highlight and disseminate content on green jobs, including data from green job survey results.
These portals assist college students and recent graduates with finding an internship, part-time employment, or their first career position. The sites offer targeted information on career exploration, searching for a job, education and training, as well as a step-by-step guide to building the path to plan, set, and reach short- and long-term career goals.
Our internship portals are designed to facilitate the hiring of interns by suitable employers. Employers can use the portal to post their latest internship opportunities. An individual can then search for these jobs, utilize career resources, as well as create and post a résumé on the portal.
These portals provide a focus on a specific industry sector, such as construction or transportation. The sites can be useful for economic development in a state that is trying to help a specific industry or large employers find the talent they need so they can locate or expand in a local area.
Each state that has requested assistance during times of natural disasters has had different requirements to track jobs that have been created as a result of the disaster. Federal reporting requirements for tracking of individuals who applied for and took these jobs during recovery are captured in the system.
Along with our history of providing workforce development and unemployment benefits and appeals solutions, Geographic Solutions has extensive experience providing continuity for clients during times of natural disasters and catastrophic events, as well as aiding in their reemployment needs thereafter. Through hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and pandemics, Geographic Solutions has provided valuable unemployment support and services to those in need.
Our systems’ flexibility allows for the rapid assistance required when responding to disaster events. Here are just a few of the events we have provided recovery assistance for over the years:
In August 2005, Louisiana’s then-current Louisiana Works Virtual OneStop (LAVOS) system was tested on its ability to respond to real-world conditions when Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of southeast Louisiana. The storm displaced thousands of Louisiana residents who, in the aftermath of the storm, were in desperate need of employment. The storm destroyed businesses and the area’s economic infrastructure, resulting in an estimated 150,000 jobs lost. Local workforce boards met the challenge to provide immediate assistance and assist the area’s unemployed to find employment, access assistance, and rebuild their lives.
The state used Virtual OneStop to help accomplish this task by creating specific vacancies for victims of the hurricane, and using the system’s content management system to update the site’s homepage continually with information on hurricane relief and recovery services.
As expected, usage of the system skyrocketed, exceeding 70,000 unique visitors per day. Meeting the increased system load was possible due to the scalability of the system’s architecture and a robust hosting environment. Louisiana was able to provide full online services to users despite the challenging conditions.
The Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill marked the largest marine oil spill in history. The Virtual OneStop systems in Florida and Louisiana were closely involved in filling jobs for the cleanup of the subsequent damage. Federal reporting requirements also called for tracking the individuals who applied for and took those jobs. To accomplish this, Geographic Solutions created the Gulf Recovery Jobs portal, which was connected to Florida’s Virtual OneStop system, known as Employ Florida. The portal helped place job seekers who were looking for jobs associated with, or as a result of, the oil spill.
On the back end, the system provided workforce staff with a convenient, centralized access point for all oil spill policy and procedure documents through the Staff Online Resources page, which was maintained through the content management system.
The system was responsible for allowing Florida, and surrounding states, to pivot in response to the unfortunate disaster.
Prolonged rainfall in southern parts of Louisiana resulted in catastrophic flooding that submerged thousands of houses and businesses, affecting 20 Louisiana parishes. The state’s Virtual OneStop system, known as Helping Individuals Reach Employment (HiRE), was immediately configured to accept disaster unemployment assistance claims. A significant number of Louisiana Workforce Commission staff were displaced and unable to work. The system was able to continue to take claims uninterrupted and was also made available for neighboring Texas Workforce Commission staff to assist in accepting claims on behalf of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
One of the largest natural disasters in the history of the State of Tennessee, the wildfires in Gatlinburg forced over 14,000 residents and tourists to evacuate. The state’s Virtual OneStop system, known as JOBS4TN, was used to find jobs for individuals whose workplaces were among the 2,000 buildings that had been damaged or destroyed. The JOBS4TN system was immediately configured to receive and process disaster unemployment assistance claims.
In 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall on the State of Florida, racking up between $60 to $100 billion in damages stemming from business disruption, prolonged unemployment periods, transportation and infrastructure damages, crop loss, fuel prices, and property damage. To complement the state’s organized recovery effort, Geographic Solutions collaborated with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to launch the Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal.
This site played a significant role in the state’s reemployment effort after many businesses were temporarily, and in some cases, permanently closed. In the weeks following the storm, the site’s traffic spiked with an influx of hundreds of thousands of job seekers actively looking for work. A large number of employers also utilized the site to create hundreds of new job listings, many of which revolved around relief aid.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida led the nation in net private-sector job losses in the third quarter of 2017, a decline of about 134,000 jobs. As a testament to the Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal’s influential role in the state’s economic recovery, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job reports show that Florida had a net gain of 214,372 private-sector jobs in late 2017 – an uptick in the state’s ranking from worst to first nationwide in job creation. Aside from job creation and placement, job seekers also utilized the site to create résumés, apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and find education and training opportunities
The portal’s success as an important recovery resource influenced Geographic Solutions to create a similar portal for residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following the impact of Hurricane Maria later that month.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused governments across the nation to launch unprecedented public health and economic responses, including large-scale quarantines, travel restrictions, and social distancing measures. In response to this, Geographic Solutions closely monitored the situation to provide a focused response. When Congress passed and signed into action the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Geographic Solutions quickly incorporated Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim functionality into the existing unemployment insurance client sites and deployed standalone PUA portals for new clients who were in need of assistance.
Paul Toomey has over 30 years of experience in geographic information systems, programming, analysis, management for state and local governments in the U.S. and overseas. In 1992, Paul founded Geographic Solutions and has served as the company’s president since inception. Paul earned a M.S. in Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Systems from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. He also earned a B.S. in Geography from the University of London, England. Paul holds multiple patents for software inventions in the workforce development field.
In some cases, reemployment assistance is time sensitive due to a national, state, or local disaster. When COVID-19 impacted not only our health, but also the country’s workforce, Geographic Solutions recognized the crucial need for state agencies to move quickly to establish a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) management system so that affected workers and business owners could access vital support resources and financial relief.
In order to expedite an effective solution, we adapted our Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) module in our Geographic Solutions Unemployment System (GUS) application to handle the requirements of PUA and provide unemployment benefits to individuals who had lost their jobs or self-employment, or who were no longer working as a direct result of the pandemic. We also took special consideration for states establishing their own unique governing parameters outside normal unemployment compensation factors. In spite of these complications, we were able to launch PUA portals in several states in record time. These portals are continuously updated to accommodate changes in legislation. To date, this effort is one of our largest feats.
Because of our software’s Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) configuration, our portals can be rapidly implemented for any state or local agency. The timeline below demonstrates Geographic Solutions’ ability to predict, develop, and deploy software that meets all immediate legislation as well as our ability to pivot and accommodate future regulations.
As we began development and rapid implementation for vital support resources and financial support, our team also began looking for creative online solutions that allowed staff, job seekers, and employers to connect virtually and conduct business at a distance.
Geographic Solutions expanded the career tools available in Virtual OneStop Sapphire to include no-touch options that support American Job Centers in their efforts to maintain high service delivery outcomes while protecting the population as individuals return to work. No-touch solutions include electronic document signing and remote signature options, live chat functionality for real-time client support, remote recruiting with Virtual Job Fairs, video conferencing for case management, online skills development platforms, and mock interview tools.
Amidst the turbulence, Geographic Solutions provided continuity and assistance throughout the first wave of mass unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now stands prepared to support these individuals with labor exchange systems as they return to work.
Even though many businesses had to downsize or, in some unfortunate cases, cease operations, there are numerous employers increasing their hiring efforts in an attempt to provide business continuity, as well as essential products and services. Our COVID Recovery Portals serve as a conduit between job-seeking individuals and the employers who are eager to fill open positions.
Our COVID Recovery Portals highlight large and small employers who are actively recruiting essential workers. These portals also provide visitors with quick links to additional resources provided by American Job Centers, human service agencies, and economic development agencies.
in Connecting Job-Ready Individuals to Local Employers.