Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






November 1, 1996




November 1, 1997











United States Employment Service




America's Job Bank

  1. Purpose: To announce further progress as America's Job Bank (AJB) products and services assist State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) in their national leadership delivering labor exchange services to employers and job seekers. These products and services are:

    1. A new capability for SESAs to assume administration of all Internet employer direct-entry activities including: approval of access by employers and approval of job orders has been developed, together with a capability to transmit orders.entered directly into AJB via Internet File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to SESAs.

    2. A new procedure to expedite approval of employers requesting direct-entry access has been developed.

    3. A new Internet job search application that is faster and more powerful has been developed and implemented, and may be implemented immediately by states that have their Internet job Banks hosted by AJB Service Center, and it will be available shortly for export to other states.

    4. SESA's may now use Internet file transfer for the regular communication of job order files with the AJB Service Center.

    5. A new national policy enables employers that are Federal contractors and subcontractors to meet their obligations to list job vacancies with the public employment service by listing vacancies directly with AJB.

    6. New versions of Automated Labor Exchange (ALEX) developed under the direction of AJB (Version 3.54 of PC ALEX; Version 3.00 of mainframe ALEX; and Digital Touch Screen ALEX) are now available.

    7. All Interstate referral tracking activities have been automated.

  2. Background: The United States Employment Service and the Employment and Training Administration have provided additional funding and otherwise supported the development of new products and services through AJB. These activities were undertaken in response to a specific request from the Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies and have resulted in the assumption of a position of technical and market leadership for AJB and the public employment service on the Internet. The Wall Street Journal, in a story on September 20, 1996, stated, "The Internet is linking employers and job seekers in ways that are transforming the nation's job market." While the story goes on to make clear that AJB is the current market leader on the Internet, technical and market leadership on the Internet demands continual innovation. In keeping with its objective of providing products and services to maintain an efficient and effective national labor exchange, the AJB Service Center has developed several software enhancements that will improve the ability of SESAs to provide information and services to job seekers and employers.

  3. Internet Products and Services: 

    1. SESA Administration of Employer Direct-Entry System:

      Since November of 1995, the AJB Service Center has offered employers that wish to manage their own recruitment,access to the Employment Service Internet network to attract candidates for their openings. Access is contingent on validation of the employer by the SESA in which the employer is located. Once access is.granted, the employer directly enters the orders via the Internet. Jobs are posted on the AJB.Internet service after review and assignment of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) code by AJB Service Center staff.

      In response to the request of several SESAs, a state administrative module has been developed that allows a SESA to assume administration of the Internet direct-entry service. States that wish to promote this service to employers may request a user identification code and password from the AJB Service Center. The administrative module will enable states to authorize access to the employer direct-entry system for employers and enable states to approve and assign DOT codes for job orders entered by employers within the state. For those states where the 'state job bank Internet service is hosted by the AJB Service Center, the state Internet job bank and AJB files will be automatically updated.

      For other states, the Internet employer entered job order file will be available via Internet FTP, if the state wishes to incorporate these orders into the state job bank file. Access to the file will be password protected.

    2. Employer Access Verification Procedure: During the last six months, over 4,200 employers have posted more than 10,000 job orders through the employer direct-entry service.

      The demand for this service is increasing. Both employers and job seekers are expressing high levels of satisfaction with the service. However, some employers have expressed concern regarding the time required before the direct entry service access is provided, and a substantial portion of employers that request access do not list job orders. In order for the public employment service to maintain its position of leadership in theInternet market, it is necessary that we respond to the needs of customers promptly.

      The ICESA work group that designed the direct-entry service set a standard of 72 hours for responding to employer request for access to the service. Although in many instances SESA responses to employer requests for access have been prompt and within the 72 hour standard, there have been many instances where employers have waited weeks for approval. Further, recent publicity has resulted in rapid expansion of employer requests. Finally, the policy determination that federal contractors and subcontractors that are required to list vacancies with the public employment service may fulfill this obligation through direct-entry into AJB leads to new need to approve these employers immediately upon request.

      In order to improve timeliness and assure that customers will have a more uniform experience of service, AJB will now grant provisional access to employers after 72 hours, unless instructions are received from the SESA to disapprove the employer within this 72 hour period. Exceptions to this procedure will be made for private employment agencies and for any requests that do give the appearance of not being from a legitimate employer authorized to operate in the United States. In these exceptional cases, access will not be granted until a response from the SESA is received. If the AJB Service center is notified by a SESA that the employer is not acceptable after the 72 hour period, the employer's access will be immediately terminated. SESAs are reminded to advise the AJB Service Center of the reason for denial so that this information can be shared with the employer.

    3. Improved Job Seeker Search: New application software is available that offers job seekers greater speed and flexibility in performing a search of AJB files. States that use the Internet hosting services of AJB may convert to the new search now. A version of the software for export to other states is under development and will be available soon.

    4. Internet FTP Transfer of job order file: The AJB order file continues to grow and has now surpassed 70,000 job orders. The size of the file has extended daily transmission sessions to more than four hours using remote job entry and similar file transfer technology. FTP transfer techniques on the Internet can improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. FTP transfer of the SESA job file to AJB and download of the national file is now available.

    5. Federal Contractor Compliance with the Vietnam ERA Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act requires that government contractors and subcontractors list job vacancies with the public employment service. As a consequence of a review by the office of the Inspector General and through a continuing national dialogue with employers and veterans' services organizations, it became clear that the requirement that federal contractors and subcontractors list job vacancies with the public employment services was failing to provide an appropriate level of access to jobs for veterans. The Veterans Employment and Training Service, the office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the United States Employment Service have agreed that federal contractors may fulfill their listing responsibilities by: (a) listing job vacancies with the local public employment service; (b) using the-direct-entry capability of AJB; or (c) linking human resource computer systems with AJB.

    In November, IBM Corporation will be the first employer to use the new computer linking service through an application programming interface currently in development. It is anticipated that many national employers will elect to use.this service, as it will provide efficiency and cost savings for the employers as well as the public employment service.

    All jobs received from a federal contractor by AJB will be made available to SESA veterans staff through a password protected Internet service. Additional information on the system availability and access will be distributed by both the Veterans Employment and Training Service and the United States Employment Service.

  4. Automated Labor Exchange (ALEX) Products: 

    1. Mainframe and PC Versions: Enhanced state-specific version of ALEX are now available. Mainframe Version 3.00 will provide the capability to do both statewide and local area searching and easier to use military occupation and DOT code searches. PC Keyboard ALEX Version 3.54 will provide the same new search capabilities to PC users. Current versions do not include programming for the National Job Information Summary (NJIS). As soon as sufficient data is available from states to run NJIS, new versions of ALEX will be released.

    2. Digital Touch Screen Version: The multimedia ALEX has been updated with the latest digital technology. States may choose either MPEG or DVI as the audio/video presentation platform: The MPEG version has both English and a fully translated Spanish presentation. Adopting the digital technology significantly reduces the cost of kiosk hardware, and makes it much easier to update audio and video files. Digital ALEX also features updated graphics.

    Of the 20 states and territories that utilize Touch Screen ALEX, eight have installed the new digital version. Two states have expanded the presentation to include other workforce development services, including career information display systems and state training inventories.

  5. Automation of Referral Tracking System: In an effort to reduce the burden of paper handling, AJB Service Center has phased out all non-automated referral tracking activities. Effective May 3, 1996, the AJB Service Center ceased mailing referral result requests to those SESA's with the capacity to handle referral activity through their automated systems. The practice of mailing referral result requests to order holding offices was terminated September 30, 1996. The AJB Service Center is available to provide technical assistance to any SESA that is currently not using fully automated referral systems. .

  6. Action Recruired: SESAs should review these advances in products and services, and are encouraged to take advantage of this progress as they improve labor exchange service for employers and job seekers. Technical assistance should be requested from the AJB Service Center.

  7. Inquiries: Requests for additional information and inquiries may be directed to Richard Hardin at (202)219-5257 or e-mail hardinr@doleta.gov or to Roger Freestone, Director of the AJB Service Center at e-mail rfreesto@ajb.dni.us. SESA information technology staff should contact Scott Morrell at e-mail smorell@ajb.dni.us to receive software,.system access or to upgrade file transfer to Internet FTP. ES program specialists may direct questions to Peg Golz at e-mail pgolz@ajb.dni.us. All AJB Service Center staff can also be contacted by phone at (518)457-3488.