PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota officials say a new initiative is helping people who receive unemployment benefits get back to work more quickly.
State Labor Secretary Pam Roberts says the new effort began May 1. She says 92 of the 186 people taking part are now in new jobs or are pursuing other opportunities and no longer getting benefit checks.
The initiative requires all people who receive unemployment benefits for more than 10 weeks to seek one-on-one assistance from a Labor Department office.
Roberts says department officials help people in the program identify careers in demand, seek training and apply for appropriate job openings. She says there are more than 11,000 job openings in South Dakota, and the program helps businesses get the skilled workers they need.