Acting director set after Michigan’s unemployment chief resigns

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has resigned.

A Thursday release from the governor’s office did not provide a reason for Steve Gray’s departure.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she was appointing Liza Estlund Olson to serve as acting director of the agency while a permanent replacement is sought.

The transition comes in a year where Michigan has seen millions of unemployment benefit claims linked to coronavirus closures and UIA branches have been closed to in-person appointments for months as a measure to mitigate spread.

“As we continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we work around the clock to ensure unemployment benefits for those who have lost work as a result of this virus,” Olson said in a statement. “I am grateful to Governor Whitmer for trusting me in this crucial position, and I am happy to serve in this capacity again. I look forward to working closely with her and partners across state government to protect Michigan families.” 
 
Olson previously served as the acting director of the UIA in 2007 and 2008, and has worked as director of the Michigan Bureau of Workforce Transformation.

MICHIGAN UNEMPLOYMENT RESOURCES

Unemployment FAQs for workers | Unemployment FAQs for employers

The Federal COVID-19 Cares Act | Step by step: How to file a claim

More Michigan unemployment resources and information