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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Utah Unemployment Insurance director selected to lead Michigan agency, restore public trust in UIA

LANSING, Mich. – Michelle Beebe, a nationally recognized and respected leader in unemployment services, has been named to lead Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Michelle BeebeBeebe’s leadership as director of Utah’s Unemployment Insurance Division make her the ideal person to guide Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, said Wanda M. Stokes, director of the Talent Investment Agency, which oversees the UIA.

Beebe has been head of the Utah’s agency since December 2014, and held other posts within the state’s Unemployment Insurance Division starting in 2008.
Stokes said Beebe brings a fresh perspective to the Michigan agency.

“Michelle Beebe has the experience and leadership we need as we restructure Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency and restore the public’s trust after our recent challenges,” Stokes said. “I know that she is willing to create an environment that is completely focused on helping people get the benefits they need as they transition to new careers.”

Stokes said Utah has a national reputation for best practices in unemployment insurance. Beebe testified in September before the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on challenges and strengths of such programs across the country. Recently Utah was one of five states that received an award for Outstanding E-response for excelling in unemployment insurance electronic claims from the National Association of Workforce Agencies.

Beebe, who is scheduled to start on May 8, 2017, was selected by Stokes after a national search for a new UIA director.

Stokes, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in July to lead TIA, announced the search in January as part of a three-point plan to make the UIA more effective, which also included improving all aspects of customer service and identifying improvements to the way the agency identifies and addresses fraud.
Stokes said Beebe will build upon the foundation of improvement started by Acting Assistant Deputy Director Bruce Noll, who has been assisting in the role since January and will continue to work with Beebe.

“Utah is a positive example of how the unemployment system protects both employees and employers,” Beebe said. “I know about some of the challenges Michigan is facing, and there is more that we need to do. I know there is a staff that is dedicated to helping people in the state. Together, we’ll continue to make improvements and the Michigan agency will be one of the best in the nation.”