The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of up to $100 million for Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) to help address the workforce-related impacts of the public health emergency related to COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus.
The program includes Puerto Rico, an agency spokesman confirmed.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a nationwide public health emergency as a result of confirmed cases of the coronavirus. This federal declaration enables the Secretary of Labor to award Disaster Recovery DWGs to help address the workforce-related impacts of the public health emergency.
“The availability of Dislocated Worker Grants will help states and communities strengthen their economies as we fight to slow the spread of the virus and regain our economic momentum,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said.
Entities eligible to apply for Disaster Recovery DWGs are states, outlying areas and Indian Tribal Governments as defined in the Stafford Act.
Disaster Recovery DWGs will provide eligible participants with both disaster-relief employment and employment and training activities.
The participants can include dislocated workers, workers who were laid-off as a result of the disaster, self-employed individuals who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the disaster, and long-term unemployed individuals.
Eligible entities can also apply for Employment Recovery DWGs in response to layoffs caused by cancellations or shutdowns caused by coronavirus.
Employment Recovery DWGs will provide employment and training services to reintegrate eligible individuals back into the workforce.
States can apply for Employment Recovery DWGs if 50 or more individuals are laid off by one employer or if there are significant layoffs that significantly increase unemployment in a given community, even if the total layoffs are fewer than 50 individuals.
Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses, the agency explained.