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California lawmakers say coronavirus unemployment assistance is still lacking



California lawmakers say coronavirus unemployment assistance is still lacking

State lawmakers reprimanded the state’s Department of Labor Development on Thursday, alleging that they had failed to overcome public anger over the delay in answering calls and processing claims for unemployment benefits from California who were excluded from work by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legislators bake EDD Director Sharon Hilliard at a budget subcommittee hearing on handling agents for an unprecedented 5.1 million claims for unemployment insurance benefits, voicing frustration that many Californians cannot get help on time.

“We have never heard the type of suffering people are experiencing at this time,” Assembly Member David Chiu (D-San Francisco) told Hilliard. “When they mention your bureaucracy, the feedback we get is terrible, and I’m sure we can do better.”

Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) said his voters complained that when they called EDD to ask for help, they often got recorded messages or the state telephone system hung up on them.

“Despair, frustration is extreme,” Lackey told Hilliard. “Even with a few direct calls [answered by representatives] we get a hangup. That’s really not acceptable. “

Other unemployed California complained that their efforts to submit applications on the EDD online portal were met with error messages, frozen screens and other disruptions.

“We are two months since the beginning of this pandemic, and there are still too many Californians who cannot even reach EDD or have not received unemployment benefits,” said Assembly member Todd Gloria (D-San Diego).

Hilliard said the lack of staff and the institution’s ancient computer system had hampered efforts to answer the flood of telephone calls from unemployed people and process their claims. He said the agency was a few weeks away from additional repairs, including the expansion of telephone lines which currently help people with claims from 8 am to noon every day.

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The agency has moved 1,300 employees to work at the EDD call center, and another 600 are expected to be added in the next two weeks. Governor Gavin Newsom has also proposed more money for employment in the fiscal year starting July 1.

“We believe that with additional funds coming next fiscal year that we will have a lot of budget to continue to improve our services both at the call center, and by processing,” Hilliard told legislators.

The state opened a second call center which operates from 8 am to 8 pm. but lawmakers say representatives can only handle technical issues, such as changing passwords, and cannot help callers resolve problems with certain claims.

Hilliard said several callers to the second call center could get claim assistance and noted the agency was looking into the possibility of combining two call centers so people could get help with claims 12 hours a day.

The agency was in the process of modernizing its computer system when the pandemic struck and hoped to give a large contract in the fall to do a lot of work, Hilliard said.

“We have a system that is very inflexible. This is very challenging, “Hilliard said.

But Chiu complained that the modernization of the 30-year-old EDD computer system began four years ago and is expected to take another seven years, which he thinks is too long and will likely make it obsolete by the time it is finished.

“The idea that the modernization project will take 11 years is really unacceptable,” Chiu said.

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PRR. Banco do Fomento invites companies to offer new financial instruments – Observer



PRR.  Banco do Fomento invites companies to offer new financial instruments – Observer

Banco Português de Fomento started a public consultation this Friday aiming to receive contributions to launch new instruments under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) which still has 475 million euros.

In a statement, the organization stressed that it intends to invite companies and all stakeholders to participate in public consultations on “future capital and quasi-capital decisions.”

According to PRR, Banco Português de Fomento (BPF) has been cast in “structuring and distribution of capital decisions and quasi-equity capital of a total of €1,425 million under the Capitalization and Business Innovation component of the PRR.

The Belarusian Popular Front still has 475 million euros to launch new programs, the organization’s press release emphasizes.

The public consultation is aimed at soliciting contributions under “the terms of two pre-structured financial instruments designed to encourage company formation and/or capitalization of businesses, primarily in the start-up phases”, “Venture Capital Program” (an instrument that assumes a fund structure of funds)” and “The Deal Co-investment Program (an instrument that takes the form of direct investment in companies, always in co-investment with private investors)”.


“These tool proposals are aimed at facilitating market entry and growth/expansion of viable companies through the development new products/services or markets and strengthening and professionalization of personnel, including the management team,” the BNF press release further emphasizes.

The public consultation is also aimed at obtaining “other proposals for new capital and quasi-capital solutions in accordance with the terms of the aforementioned capitalization funds, which are considered relevant and necessary because they are considered unavailable at the time, or existing conditions that prevent access and use.”

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Ana Carvalho, CEO of BPF, emphasized that these public consultations “are aimed at building an open dialogue with all actors of the business ecosystem, with to improve workflows and identify market failuresand the most appropriate solutions to overcome them.”

“Although we are actively in contact with various associations and institutions, this public comment allows all interested parties to participate, especially potential beneficiaries and partners involved in these measures,” he added, quoted in a press release.

All information and technical descriptions of the two pre-structured products are available on the Banco Português de Fomento website at the link

Suggestions or offers must be submitted online for a thorough assessment by the Belarusian Popular Front until 18:00 on December 19, this body further explained.

The mission of Banco Português de Fomento is to support the economic and social development of Portugal by creating and providing innovative, competitive and appropriate solutions to the needs and challenges of the business ecosystem, enhancing entrepreneurial potential, investment and job creation, and promoting sustainability and economic, social and territorial cohesion of the country.

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FESTin returns to distribute Portuguese-language cinema worldwide | Cinema



FESTin returns to distribute Portuguese-language cinema worldwide |  Cinema

For the 13th edition, FESTin’s mission remains the same: “Bring cinema in Portuguese to the whole world.” So says co-director Adriana Niemeyer by phone with PÚBLICO on the eve of the start of the film festival, which starts this Friday and runs until next week, ending on Wednesday the 14th at LX Factory at 7:00 pm, in Espaço Talante, inside the bookstore Ler Devagar , with a screening of four Brazilian short films chosen by Antonio Grassi, the actor in charge of the space, followed by a toast.

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VARIOUS. Portuguese project that wears a shirt for mental health



VARIOUS.  Portuguese project that wears a shirt for mental health

Little phrases with big meaning sometimes fit into T-shirtright now in bag da Ivory, a project that began in the year of the pandemic and has been interventionally warning about mental health issues ever since.

Francisco Soares Ganzo, the founder, first suffered a panic attack when he was in 10th grade, but ended up not paying much attention to signs that something was wrong. Then the mental health problem reappeared later, at a different stage in life and with different symptoms.

“Four years ago, I started experiencing constant anxiety, to the point that I couldn’t sleep,” says 25-year-old Francisco Versa. “Basically, I put a lot of pressure on myself from the women with whom I had relationships. It was Wednesday masculinity, competition,” he continues.

Early adulthood began with this “almost obsession to be with women” and get the best. performanceto the point where he became very anxious whenever he had sexual relations with a woman.

“The peak was when I couldn’t sleep. My brain was always on and I started taking pills to help me sleep,” says Francisco.

In 2019, he decided to see a therapist rather than a psychologist because he thought it was only “for wimps”, but it wasn’t, and Francisco later figured it out.

Today, he wants to convey the same message, and to do so, he created the Ivory project in 2020, consisting of clothes and accessories with special messages that form a bridge to the necessary incentive for those in need of help.

“When I finally worked up the courage to ask for help, I was like, ‘Wow, I wish I had started sooner. That’s why I started this project. I lacked something that would motivate me to go to therapy earlier. clothes are meant to spread information,” he says.

But Ivory goes far beyond what is written in sweatshirts and accessories.

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Help that comes in order

“Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

This is one of the messages recorded in t-shirts e sweats from ivory. It’s simple and affects everyone in their own way, but the focus of the Ivory team – also with a past or present marked by mental health issues – is not the phrases on the T-shirts, but what follows them.

“To say that mental health is talked about a lot is a lie. What I mean? When I hear the news that companies are very concerned about mental health or that it has become fashionable with COVID-19, it is all a lie. What people say is vague. Nobody tells stories. A person who is really bad, like I was, does not need to hear that he should go to the gym or eat well. He needs to hear a story like this.” .

Ivory’s next step is to create a space for sharing testimonies through Appendixjust to address this shortcoming. Until then, the project intends to function as anxiety And further to support in the field of mental health.

“For every order we have, a person receives Email mail to make an appointment. Because our goal is to really open doors, to do something that I didn’t have, ”says Francisco. “I feel like a lot of people buy ivory because they’re in bad condition, but they don’t want to take the next step to take care of themselves.”

If encouragement is not enough, an ivory sweater will be cozy and Email mail gives you the push you need to make an appointment with one of Ivory’s psychologists. All it takes is an Instagram post or an email.

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Sweaters and bags 100% organic cotton and mobile phone cases with phrases coined by Francisco Soares Ganzo and designs created by the whole team can be ordered at website.

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