By Alex Lippa
---- — Those looking for tips on receiving unemployment insurance have a new place to go — their television sets.
Comcast and New Hampshire Employment Security announced a partnership to provide NHES tip videos through the On Demand service offered by Comcast.
“We are trying to get out our message as best as we can,” NHES Commissioner George Copadis said. “We want to let people know what’s available for those who are unemployed.”
So, Copadis reached out to a medium which reaches about 300,000 customers in the state each day.
“They’ve always been a big part of the community,” he said. “We always try to develop partnerships to communicate this information.”
Comcast produced and filmed a dozen three to four minute segments featuring staff from NHES. The segments include everything from a step by step guide on how to file an unemployment claim to job training opportunities and advice on how to search for a job.
“It can be stressful and frightening, if you’ve lost your job or have had your hours cut back,” said a narrator in one of the segments. “The best thing to do first is to get information.”
Comcast spokesman Marc Goodman said the company routinely reaches out to state officials for projects such as this.
“We are pleased that we could provide video production support along with helpful On Demand content for customers and their job search,” Goodman said.
He said it is the first time Comcast has offered specific job search videos in New Hampshire.
The programs are available free for customers who have an Xfinity TV subscription. Viewers are able to watch them 24 hours a day, and can pause and fast forward at their own convenience.
Deacon Bill Mullen of Saint Anne’s Parish in Hampstead conducts an unemployment support group and said the videos should be a big help to members of his group.
“It’s nice to know that the resource is there that people can pull up on demand,” he said. “If someone isn’t able to come to a particular meeting, they can just sit down and watch something that will assist them in finding employment.”
Mullen said these videos come out at a good time for those who are unemployed.
“The trend seems to be changing from what I see,” he said. “Ever since the sequestration in February, employers are more hesitant about hiring and are not putting people on.”
The unemployment rate was at 5.5 percent in April in New Hampshire, down from 5.7 percent in March.
Videos can b accessed by selecting the Get Local category and then News and Events on the On Demand menu. The videos are also available on the NHES website, nhes.nh.gov.