|Raleigh, N.C. -- Governor Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, announced today that Dale Folwell, assistant secretary at Commerce’s Division of Employment Security (DES), would be stepping down from his position effective December 1st.
“Dale has been our point man on long-overdue reforms to the state’s unemployment insurance system, and his leadership on those and other important issues has been critical to North Carolina’s economic comeback,” said Governor McCrory. “I am grateful for the energy and insight Dale brought to our administration and wish him the best in his next endeavors.”
Folwell was appointed assistant secretary in March of 2013. His responsibilities included overseeing the state’s unemployment insurance system, a role that includes all aspects of claim determination, employer account management and legal enforcement of employment security law.
When Folwell assumed his duties at DES, North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system owed the federal government approximately $2.5 billion. The system now has a $1 billion surplus and growing. Reform efforts also resulted in significantly decreased wait times at the DES call center, faster disposition of cases and more effective procedures for identifying fraudulent claims.
“Dale’s leadership of one of Commerce’s largest and most important divisions resulted in improved customer service, the adoption of new technologies, streamlined operations and an estimated collective savings for North Carolina employers of more than $600 million in federal and state taxes over the next year,” said Secretary Skvarla.
Prior to arriving at Commerce, Folwell served four terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives, representing Forsyth County. He was elected as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the North Carolina House of Representatives for the 2011-2012 legislative sessions.
“In March of 2013, I wasn’t surprised at the broke and broken NC unemployment system,” said Folwell. “We immediately went to work to implement, not interpret, the new laws to reform the system. The Governor told us not to rest until every penny of debt was repaid, every phone call was answered, and the backlog resolved. With the courage and creativity of our employees, the administration’s confidence, and the new law, we were able to go from bankruptcy to solvency in 30 months. I have loved being a leader of a turnaround team who tore DES apart and correctly put it back together again. An accomplishment is an accomplishment for only as long as it lasts. I’m leaving DES confident that no North Carolina Governor will have to deal with a bankrupt system again.”
Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary Ted Brinn will serve as interim assistant secretary at DES.