WASHINGTON – To help identify and address barriers workers face in accessing state unemployment insurance benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $2,283,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the grant will allow Hawaii 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 Hawaii the full amount the state requested. Funds will be used to support projects that expand outreach, promote awareness and understanding of UI programs and services, and simplify instructions for underserved communities. The state will also use the grant to provide translation services and improve mobile-based capabilities to respond better to underserved communities’ other needs.

Today’s award is the latest equity grant issued since 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 $205 million in funds to 40 states and the District of Columbia.

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