The Stand

Sen. Murray helps secure grants to assist state’s unemployed

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USDOL-logoWASHINGTON, D.C. (April 29, 2016) — The U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday awarded $112 million to 50 state and territorial workforce agencies — including about $9.2 million in Washington state — to operate Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA) 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 UI services by approximately one-and-a-half weeks, saving on average $3 for every dollar spent in costs. This is the 12th year that the department has awarded grants through this initiative. Recipients prioritize RESEA services to transitioning, honorably discharged veterans and individuals likely to exhaust their UI benefits.

murray-pattySen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has fought to increase the federal funding for these grants during the appropriations process. In FY 2015, the grants were funded at $80 million. The following year, Murray worked to secure another $35 million, bringing the total to $115 million. Washington state will receive about $9.2 million in grants.

“These investments will help workers get back on their feet after losing a job so they can find work and support their families,” Murray said. “In our state, we know that when workers have the tools and resources they need, businesses succeed and our economy succeeds, and I am hopeful these investments will help our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down.”

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 UI benefits.

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