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University of Hawaiʻi employees, along with other state employees, have joined an effort to assist the Department of Labor Industrial Relations (DLIR) with its backlog of 237,000 unemployment insurance claims. DLIR has seen a steep increase in claims as a result of the COVID-19 health pandemic. The UH Professional Assembly (UHPA), which represents UH faculty, and the Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association (HGEA) put out a call for volunteers over the weekend.

The UHPA message stated, “The COVID-19 outbreak has caused unprecedented challenges for us all, and sometimes it’s during those most difficult times there can be great comfort in knowing your volunteer efforts are helping other families in Hawaiʻi.”

Training sessions were held at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on April 20 and 21 with the large-scale volunteer work starting Wednesday, April 22 and running through early May.

“The university encourages and supports any employee who wants to assist in this statewide effort to ease the overwhelming processing backlog at DLIR,” said UH President David Lassner. “We all want to do what we can to help those in our community who have been affected by the devastating economic impacts of this pandemic.”

If you are a UH employee and are interested in volunteering, please discuss with your supervisor and visit the Hawaiʻi Works website for more information.

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