WASHINGTON – To help identify and address barriers workers face regarding access to state unemployment insurance benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $9.5 million in equity grants to Arkansas, Louisiana and Vermont.
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the grants will allow states to implement projects that seek to remove barriers related to race, age, ethnicity, language proficiency, disability status, geographic location or other systemic issues that make it difficult for people to access unemployment insurance benefits.
The department awarded each state the amount requested – in the amounts of $4,562,000 to Arkansas, $2,661,616 to Louisiana and $2,283,000 to Vermont – to enable states to expand outreach, promote awareness, improve technology, provide translation services, reallocate staffing and address disadvantaged communities’ other needs.
The awards are the latest equity grants issued after the department’s August 2021 announcement of up to $260 million in available grants for states to promote equitable access to unemployment insurance benefits. To date, the department has announced awards of more than $216.2 million in funds to 44 states and the District of Columbia.