WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $9,122,164 in equity grants to Rhode Island and Wisconsin’s state employment insurance systems to enhance awareness and improve delivery of unemployment insurance services to people who face obstacles to access.

Administered by the department’s Employee and Training Administration, the latest round of grant funding provides Rhode Island with $2,282,164 and Wisconsin with $6,840,000 to improve access to unemployment insurance benefits for people of color, people with disabilities, workers with limited English proficiency or people in rural communities.

The grants will fund projects aimed at helping the states to ensure race, ethnicity, age, disability status, geographic location, language proficiency, worker classification or other systemic barriers do not prevent those in need from accessing unemployment insurance benefits.

In August 2021, the department issued guidance to inform states about the availability of $260 million in grant funding to promote equitable access to unemployment insurance benefits. In addition to today’s award, ETA has announced the awards of more than $76.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to 15 states and the District of Columbia.

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