WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of more than $18 million in competitive grant funding to help workers in Maine, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin understand the application process for claiming and receiving unemployment benefits and related services.
The state grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, and will support efforts by partner organizations to reduce disparities in unemployment benefits and services in the seven states.
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, ARPA Unemployment Insurance Navigator grants will allow community partners in each state to conduct outreach and provide resources and training to marginalized communities, with an emphasis on the following groups who have experienced disparate access to benefits and services:
Racial and ethnic minorities, including Blacks, Hispanics, American Indian and Native Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Indigenous Persons.
Individuals with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency, formerly incarcerated individuals, low-wage earners, and individuals living in rural areas.
Members of religious minorities.
On Jan. 31, 2022, the department announced funding availability of up to $15 million in state navigator grants to improve delivery of UI benefits. ETA identified additional funds and reallocated the supplemental funding to be used for Navigator Grants, increasing the total available funding to more than $18 million. The department awarded each state the full amount requested.
A list of the UI Navigator Program Grant recipients and funding amounts follows:
Maine Department of Labor
New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions
Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Oregon Employment Department
Pennsylvania Department of Labor
Washington Employment Security Department
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development