The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $68,745,912 to 37 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia to implement or continue re-employment and eligibility assessments for Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries.
"Offering newly unemployed Americans access to a full array of job training and placement services will help to reduce time spent between jobs," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These federal grants will also strengthen the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance program by preventing improper payments so that it remains available for those who truly need it."
The funding will be used to conduct in-person assessments at American Job Centers. The assessments include the development of an individual re-employment plan for each claimant; the provision of labor market information that is appropriate to the claimant's location, job skills and employment prospects; a complete review of the claimant's eligibility for UI benefits; and a referral to the relevant re-employment or training services provided by the American Job Center.
Colorado is receiving a first-time grant to implement an REA program while the other states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia are being awarded additional funds to continue their programs. This brings the total number of states that have offered re-employment and eligibility assessments to 44.
This is the 10th year that the department has awarded grants through the REA initiative. Recent evaluations of the program have shown that REAs reduce the number of weeks UI benefits are claimed by expediting the re-employment of UI claimants. Information about the positive impact and effectiveness of REAs can be found in an evaluation report conducted by Impaq International LLC.