CRANSTON – The R.I. Department of Labor and Training has rehired seven of the 51 unemployment insurance call center employees that it laid off at the end of July.
The DLT attributed the rehiring to an influx of federal funding from the UI Modernization Fund, which was made available this week.
According to a release, money from the UI Modernization Fund is generally restricted to technological issues but after “extensive negotiations,” U.S. Department of Labor authorized Rhode Island to redirect roughly $500,000 toward staffing expenses.
“[Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee] places a high value on customer service and had asked the department to investigate any and all funding options to bolster staffing at the call center,” DLT Director Charles J. Fogarty said in a statement.
Fogarty went on to commend the U.S. Department of Labor for its flexibility regarding the modernization funds given Rhode Island’s high unemployment rate.
The seven DLT employees were rehired on a seniority basis and will return to work on Monday, Aug. 20.