The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday awarded $112 million to 50 state and territorial workforce agencies, including Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which received $302,000 and $246,000, respectively to offer reemployment services and eligibility assessments programs for those receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
Estimates based on the budgets in the past 10 years show that the program has reduced individual use of unemployment insurance services by approximately one-and-a-half weeks, saving on average $3 for every dollar spent in costs, the federal agency said.
This is the 12th year that the department has awarded grants through this initiative. Recipients prioritize reemployment services to transitioning, honorably discharged veterans and individuals likely to exhaust their jobless benefits.
“As our nation continues to enjoy a period of sustained economic growth, with 14.4 million jobs added in the past 73 months, the U.S. Department of Labor remains focused on modernizing and improving the [unemployment insurance] system, and helping those who are still looking for jobs to support themselves and their families,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Portia Wu.
“Today’s grant awards will ensure unemployed individuals have a wide array of workforce services available and can continue to be eligible for [unemployment insurance] services,” Wu said.
The funds will be used to connect participants with in-person assessments and re-employment services through their local their local American Job Centers including developing an individual re-employment plan; providing relevant and timely labor market information, identifying job skills and employment prospects; and reviewing claimant’s continued eligibility for jobless benefits.