Kansas Department of Labor takes steps to modernize information technology system

Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 4.02.39 PM.png
Posted at 6:28 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 19:28:28-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Labor is taking a big step in modernizing its 40-year-old computer system.

The fix will be a long and slow process, it'll take more than two years.

Kansans unable to get payments say there's much more work to be done long before a whole new system is developed.

Overland Park resident Dave Rehnblom, said his specific issue with unemployment has to be resolved over the phone, but he hasn't been able to get through to the call center.

"Presumably, if I could get ahold of someone it wouldn't be that rough," Rehnblom said. "It immediately gives you the all operators are busy, the hold queue is full, you'll have to go online."

KDOL Secretary Amber Shultz, told 41 Action News the department's recent server migration should be helping with the issue. The department continues to train call center representatives and add them on in waves.

Shultz said KDOL recently issued a request for proposal to vendors for an entirely new information technology system.

"It's the first step of many until we can select a vendor and start the path forward to modernization," Shultz said.

Shultz said KDOL will receive responses from vendors in May and will choose the most qualified. The department's time frame for the new system is Fall 2023.

"We're going to be setting a path forward, should we ever be in another economic downturn, that the system that we will have implemented will provide the level of service that Kansans deserve," Shultz said.

Claimants like Rehnblom hope those words hold true.

"We're left to call the news channel or our state senator or state representative and say help," Rehnblom said.