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In-Brief

Puerto Rico Dept. of Labor gets $301K from federal counterpart to put people back to work

The Puerto Rico Department of Labor has been assigned a little more than $301,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to run its Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA) programs.

The assignment is included in a total $146 million assigned to workforce agencies in 48 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

RESEA is an evidence-based program focused on individualized assessments, reemployment services and referrals to support an individual who is receiving unemployment benefits return to work more quickly.

State agencies provide individual reemployment plans and support more informed job searches.

“This program is critical to states’ abilities to help individuals return to work as the nation’s economy recovers amid the pandemic,” the federal agency stated.

In the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, many states shifted resources to respond to the unprecedented increase in new unemployment claims and reduced or suspended their RESEA activities temporarily.

States have since resumed their RESEA programs with greater use of remote services and virtual person-to-person video conferencing to deliver services.

“Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments programs have a proven track record of providing needed assistance that gets people back to work quicker,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Suzi LeVine.

“These funds will assist states as they grow and restructure their RESEA programs to assist workers who are struggling to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic,” she said.

Pierluisi OKs $579K in overtime backpay
In related news, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi authorized the disbursement of $579,193 in overtime payment due to more than 100 Department of Labor employees who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Labor Department employees have certainly been a key element in facing the challenges that the arrival of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico brought,” Labor Secretary Carlos Rivera said. “The volume of work we face has skyrocketed and these colleagues have been on the battle line working for thousands of claimants to receive much-needed compensation.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.
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