Assistance for Business Clinics

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry, Montana Department of Revenue, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, US Department of Labor, and Montana Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve in partnership with local Chamber of Commerce, Job Service Employer Committees (JSEC), and Montana State University will host the Assistance for Business Clinics (ABC) statewide.

The Assistance for Business Clinics are designed to provide new and established businesses, accountants, bookkeepers, human resource professionals and attorneys with updated information on topics such as: Montana Department of Revenue’s new Form MW-4 and their E-Services, Unemployment Insurance Tax requirements, workers’ compensation coverage, Independent Contractor regulations, using Labor Market Information to make business decisions, the Registered Apprenticeship Program, tax incentives, minimum wage, overtime, new hire reporting, child support services, USERRA laws and regulations.


Additional Instructions:
Call or email with any questions

Andy Shirtliff
Montana Department of Labor and Industry
P.O. Box 1728
Helena, MT 59624
Telephone: (406) 249-4546
E-mail: andy.shirtliff@mt.gov


2022 ABC Clinics

*Dates and locations subject to change

Topics

  • Labor Market Information

    The Labor Market Information session will include local, regional, and statewide statistical data.   Attendees will learn how occupational data can be utilized for setting and maintaining rates of pay for staff and for maintaining job market competitiveness, by utilizing current wage data for recruiting and retention purposes.  The subject matter will include how projections and industry data can be utilized for strategic planning and economic development including staff training and development, addressing potential work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities, and analyzing current industry trends. Website: https://lmi.mt.gov/


    Unemployment Insurance Contributions
    Employers will learn how to e-file quarterly reports and make payments, view benefit charges and other correspondence, and how to send and receive messages from the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Bureau. Payroll preparers from accounting firms and bookkeeping services are highly encouraged to attend as we explain the process for enrolling clients, demonstrating how to file returns individually or by utilizing bulk services. We also explain how to upload payroll exported to Excel, amend returns, and more. Montana Unemployment Insurance worked with Intuit to provide QuickBooks users a more efficient way to e-file UI reports and pay the tax due and that process will be explained. There are many new and improved services available on our UI eServices for Employers web portal and we are excited to share it with the public! Website: https://uid.dli.mt.gov/employers/eservices/contact


    Unemployment Insurance Benefits

    Provides an overview of the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Program. Participants will learn about the program from an employer’s perspective. Employers play an intricate part in the integrity of the UI program by providing complete, accurate, and timely information when requested. This ensures proper benefit payments to claimants and proper charging of employer accounts. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the types of information needed by the Department to properly administer the program. The Bureau also touches on the types of UI claims and employer accounts, the rights and requirements of both claimants and employers when claims are filed, and how quits and discharges impact eligibility and charges to employer accounts. The Division’s efforts to detect, prevent and reduce fraud in the Unemployment Insurance Program are also covered during the presentation. Website: https://uid.dli.mt.gov/ 


    Worker’s Compensation
    In this presentation, the presenter will review the basics of the Montana Workers’ Compensation System and discuss changes to medical benefits through the new drug formulary.  In addition, the financial impact of uninsured employers on system costs will be discussed, focusing on understanding insurance modification factors for employers. Participants will be guided through a series of questions and answers that respond to common employer concerns. Website: https://erd.dli.mt.gov/


     Montana Job Service
    This presentation will review the services offered by the Montana Job Service. Considering the workforce crisis, the Job Service is on the front-line helping businesses retain employees and find new workers, through various programs and funding sources. Website: https://montanaworks.gov/job-service-montana/


     Incumbent Worker Training Grant
    The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) program is a grant funding resource, helping to offset a portion of skills-based training costs for the incumbent (existing) workers employed by Montana's small businesses. Businesses must demonstrate training will increase the worker's skill level, resulting in a promotion or wage gain, or expand their business market/increase business revenue, with the intent of preserving existing jobs for Montana residents. Small business is defined as the private sector, for-profit, and non-profits, operating year-round, with no more than 50 employees statewide. Website: https://wsd.dli.mt.gov/employers/incumbent-worker-training-program/


     Apprenticeship
    The Montana Registered Apprenticeship program assists in setting up structured, yet flexible training programs recognized by federal and industry standards designed to meet the specific needs of Montana employers through on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction. Website: https://apprenticeship.mt.gov/


     Wage & Hour / Independent Contractor
    The Compliance and Investigations Bureau enforces provisions of the Montana Wage Payment Act, minimum wage and overtime law, Public Contracts / Prevailing Wage Law, and the State Child Labor Standards Act. As part of its function the bureau processes claims from employees who did not receive wages in a timely fashion or pursuant to their employment contract. The claims can be for such items as minimum wage, overtime, vacation pay, commissions, earned bonuses, etc. The bureau also helps the public by answering labor-related phone inquiries and by providing presentations informing employers and employees of their rights and responsibilities under Montana law. Website: https://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/

  • Withholding & E-Services

    The Department of Revenue will provide a broad overview of the taxes administered by the department. The focus of the presentation will center on E-File applications that will aid the business in its filing requirements. Website: https://mtrevenue.gov/taxes/

  • Child Support & New Hire Reporting

    The Child Support Enforcement Division is pleased to present information to participants on the New Hire Reporting Program and Child Support processes as it pertains to the employer/employee relationship. This interactive presentation will provide helpful information on cost-effective and time-efficient Electronic Services, New Hire Reporting, Income Withholding Orders, Orders to Enroll for Health Coverage, Child Support Payments, Bonus & Lump Sum Payments, Notice of Employee Terminations, and Federal and State contacts. The presenter will be available after the presentation for questions. Website: https://dphhs.mt.gov/cssd/employerinfo/index


     Montana Vocational Rehab
    Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services promote opportunities for Montanans with disabilities to have rewarding careers and achieve maximum personal potential. Our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Instructors must hold a master’s degree and the ability to sit for certification to be qualified for their jobs. These professionals are supported by other professionals including administrative support, specialists, program managers, supervisors, and trainees.  All engage in continuous improvement and personal development to hone their skills to a keen leading edge. Website: https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd/vocrehab/

  • Employer Support
    Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and the agency of the Department of Defense, present an overview of the Uniformed Services Employment Reemployment Rights Act as it pertains to the employment of Guard and Reserve members. ESGR works to develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. Website: https://www.esgr.mil/About-ESGR/Contact/Local-State-Pages/Montana

Emcee

  • Andy Shirtliff – Business Engagement Specialist

    Andy is the Business Engagement Specialist for the Montana Dept of Labor and Industry’s Strategic Business Engagement team. Andy has over a decade of experience working with entrepreneurs, businesses, and industry associations. He has been appointed by two governors to work on economic development.

    Andy is a graduate of the University of Montana, and led the team that developed the nationally recognized, award-winning Montana Business Navigator online tool that helps Montanans start, operate, expand, and relocate their small businesses.

    Andy is skilled in workforce development, retention, and attraction. Prior to working for DLI, he was with the Montana District Office of the US Small Business Administration helping our State’s small businesses through the pandemic.

    Contact: Andy.Shirtliff@mt.gov / 406-444-6171

Presenters:

  • Matt is the manager of the Bureau of Labor Statistics unit at the Department of Labor and Industries’ Research and Analysis Bureau. He has worked as an economist on all of the BLS labor market programs in MT and is happy to apply that knowledge toward helping businesses and individuals capture the benefits and opportunities provided thru labor market information.

    Contact: mbetcher@mt.gov / 406-444-3476

  • Lisa is our current Status & Rating Supervisor for the UI Contributions Bureau.   She graduated from Montana State University with a degree in accounting and minor in Management and Business Education and has worked for the State of Montana in several capacities.  She’s been a Field representative, a Field supervisor, a Job Service interviewer, as well as a supervisor in the Department of Revenue, and now the UI Contributions Bureau.   She is also worked in the private sector as an accountant for a private school and tractor dealership.  She enjoys serving Montana employers and solving challenging problems and has found an opportunity to do both in her 28 years with the State of Montana!

    Contact: lbarton@mt.gov / 406-444-4646

  • Margaret is a Claims Examiner V (formerly known as a Claims Adjudicator) who has worked for the Department of Labor and Industry since 2002.  During the twenty years with the department, Margaret has worked as an adjudicator for approximately fifteen years. She has an AA in Humanities and a BA in History from HSU and took an extensive number of business courses from Carroll College. 

    Prior to working for the state, Margaret worked in credit management for a utilities company.  As a claims examiner, V Margaret’s main responsibilities are making unemployment decisions based on law and rule, representing the department in hearings, giving counsel to less experienced examiners on decisions, and giving public presentations. (Great Falls only)

    Contact: mkrause@mt.gov / 406-444-9437

  • Misty has been with Unemployment Insurance Division since 2014. She started her career as a phone center representative, assisting claimants and employers with any questions they have regarding claims. She currently holds a Claims Examiner V position and investigates and adjudicates claims involving employers and employees. She also represents the state at appeals hearings. Before joining the Department of Labor and Industry, Misty earned a degree in Sociology from Montana State University Billings and then worked for the YWCA in their Employment & Training program which assisted low-income adults and displaced homemakers in attending short term training that would allow them to find employment opportunities at a sustainable wage. (Lewistown, Miles City, Sidney, Wolf Point)

    Contact: misty.evans@mt.gov / 406-255-1170

  • Shawn Has 26 years of accounting and business management experience with additional 9 years working for the state of Montana 8 of those years with the child support services division both in the technical accounting unit and as an employer liaison.

    Contact: srafferty2@mt.gov / 406-444-6893

  • Cheri is the Business Services Specialist for Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services and has worked for the agency over the past 11 years. Cheri earned her Master of Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).  Cheri earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science with an option in Orthotics and Prosthetics from California State University Dominguez Hills.

    Contact: creed@mt.gov / 406-232-0583

  • Ken has been with the workers’ compensation section of the Dept of Labor for over eight years.  He is a Claims Examiner and primarily assists injured workers, employers, medical providers, and insurers in navigating the workers’ compensation system in Montana. (Great Falls and Lewistown only)

    Contact: kbiskupiak@mt.gov / 406-444-1523

  • Mike has been with the workers’ compensation section of the Dept of Labor for over six years.  He is Claims Examiner and assists injured workers, employers, and other stakeholders navigate the worker’s compensation system in Montana. (Miles City, Sidney, Wolf Point only)

    Contact: mbartow@mt.gov / 406-444-6535

  • Michelle joined the MT DLI in 2005, and since then has received recognition awards from two respective Governors. She has also saved the state's taxpayers over $15 million dollars. Michelle and her husband Major also own a small business.

    Contact: michelle.robinson@mt.gov / 406-444- 3351

  • Jennifer has been with the Montana Department of Revenue for 6 years. Three of those years with the withholding unit. She has been participating in the ABC clinics for 3 years now.

    Contact: jennifer.williams@mt.gov / 406-444-7701

  • Kari is a Program Specialist with the Montana Department of Labor & Industry-Registered Apprenticeship. Kari began her career with the Montana Department of Labor & Industry in the Workforce Services Division in 2009. For more than ten years, she was dedicated to “helping build tomorrow’s workforce” by delivering customized business services for employers in such areas as worker recruitment & retention, human resource practices, and comprehensive employment and training opportunities for job seekers and businesses (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, WIOA). (Great Falls and Lewistown only)

    Contact: kariwoods@mt.gov / 406-5827

  • Liz (Miles City, Sidney, Wolf Point only)

    Contact: Liz.Ching@mt.gov / 406-696-4371

  • Parker is with the Employment Services of the Guard and Reserve program through the US Department of Defense. Engaging Volunteer Manager with expertise in relationship building, public relations, marketing, and planning special events. Highly motivated and proven leader with strong interpersonal skills, and excellent written and oral communication abilities. 34 years of experience.

    Contact: parker.sullivan.ctr@us.af.mil / 406-791-0895

  • Mike is the Outreach Manager for the Montana Dept of Labor & Industry’s Employment Relations Division. Mike provides education and outreach for all things under the Employment Relations including – Wage & Hour Law, Employment Relationships, Construction Contractor & Independent Contractor registration programs, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, and Workplace Safety & Health programs.

    Contact: Michael.Horner2@mt.gov / (406) 444-1376

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