The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS) began using TORQ in 2012 as part of a special program called Reemployment Intensive Services. This initiative was focused on unemployment claimants at high risk of exhausting their benefits before they found a new job.
ADWS used TORQ to develop personal employment plans in workshop sessions with these clients, combined with other job search techniques, including resume preparation and interview skills.
Workshop participants who used TORQ were able to locate new jobs and stop collecting unemployment benefits after an average of 9 weeks. A control group, who were selected for the program but did not participate, continued to receive unemployment insurance benefits for an average of 15 weeks. State officials estimate that the program saved at least $1.2 million in its first year of operation alone, from reduced payments from the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
Based on the success of the Intensive Services Program, the state has chosen to expand the use of TORQ to serve not only all UI claimants, but also Veterans, dislocated workers, trade impacted workers, and those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). To date over 70,000 people in Arkansas have used TORQ to create personal employment plans, and 100-150 more join every day.