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Puerto Rico, USVI get $1M in re-employment funds

Puerto Rico's high unemployment rate could use a boost from re-employment funds. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico’s jobless population  could use a boost from re-employment funds. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded Monday approximately $64.3 million to 38 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia to implement or continue re-employment and eligibility assessments for individuals who receive unemployment benefits.

This includes $571,348 to Puerto Rico and $486,285 to the USVI.

“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 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.

Two new states, Connecticut and Delaware, along with the USVI are receiving grants to implement an REA program while 36 additional states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are being awarded additional funds to continue their programs.

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.  This report showing the positive impact and effectiveness of REAs can be found on the department’s website at http://s.dol.gov/RK.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 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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