The Labor Department announced Monday the awarding of $64 million in grants to help unemployment insurance recipients find work more quickly. The funds will be divided up between thirty-eight states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris announced the awards:
"The grants announced today will help individuals and families facing unemployment get back to work quickly," said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. "This is a win-win-win for those looking for work, employers who want to pay less taxes and states struggling to control their budgets."
The grants fund programs that focus directly on matching individuals and their career interests with job availability in the local job market:
The funds will be used to provide UI beneficiaries with personalized, re-employment plans based on the claimant's career interests and local labor market information. These assessments are done in-person and participants will receive referrals to re-employment services and/or training provided by the American Job Center. The program will also allow for a complete review of the claimants eligibility for UI benefits, to help reduce incidences of improper payments...
A recent report by Impaq International found strong evidence showing that re-employment and eligibility assessments expedite the return of the unemployed to the workforce.
The five states receiving the most funds are: New York, $11,037,401; Florida, $7,146,196; Massachusetts, $4,280,176; Oregon, $3,693,193; and Ohio, $3,449,135.