Grant set to help more jobless with career planning, job placement
A $701,363 GRANT from the federal government is expected to help more than 3,000 additional recipients of unemployment insurance return to the workforce, says R.I. Department of Labor and Training Director Charles J. Fogarty.
PROVIDENCE – A $701,363 federal grant received by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training will enable the state agency to expand its career services programs to the unemployed.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration announced the award last week, which will expand Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment services to thousands more people receiving unemployment insurance, the DLT said in a press release Monday.
As a result of the funding, starting on July 14, DLT’s 11 trained counselors at Providence, West Warwick and Woonsocket “netWORKri” one-stop career centers will see, on average, 14 new participants a week.
In addition, the funding will support the addition of the Wakefield career center as a fourth place to provide these career services. Days of operation in Wakefield will increase from two to three a week through March 31, 2015.
“Our Unemployment Insurance program provides a safety net for insured and eligible workers who are out of work through no fault of their own,” said DLT Director Charles J. Fogarty. “Our goal through the … program and other services we deliver, however, is to equip dislocated workers with the ‘job ready’ skills they need, connect them with companies that need them and help them return to the workforce as soon as possible.
“Our mission is to transform DLT from our state’s unemployment agency to Rhode Island’s re-employment and workforce agency,” he added.
After researching re-employment strategies, R.I. DLT in 2013 selected 7,410 new unemployment insurance beneficiaries to participate in these services through two different program grants.
The DLT is required to serve 11,500 people for the remainder of 2014 under both the new and older grants.
Once selected for the program, the claimant’s participation is mandatory.
The assessments done by the counselors of a claimant’s needs to become re-employed also help DLT make sure the claimant is complying fully with the state’s eligibility requirements.
“The REA program is a targeted investment that speeds the return to work of [unemployment insurance] beneficiaries who work hard and act responsibly and encourages business growth by helping train workers,” said Fogarty.