U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Chris Coons, and Rep. John Carney have announced a total of $836,145 in Department of Labor funding to implement a re-employment and eligibility assessment program in Delaware that helps unemployment insurance beneficiaries find work faster and reduces improper payments.
“I always say the best thing you can do for someone is help them find a job,” said Carper. “This grant award will help those who are unemployed obtain the tools and education they need to get a job. Delaware has a reputation for having a highly skilled, dedicated workforce, and this grant award will help it stay that way.”
“Long-term unemployment remains one of the most difficult challenges facing our economic recovery,” Coons said. “The longer a worker is unemployed, the more difficult it becomes to find a job, and the further unemployment benefits are strained. REA programs across the country have helped unemployment beneficiaries get back to work faster, avoiding the slump of long-term unemployment and reducing the likelihood that they will exhaust their benefits."
“This funding will give Delawareans facing unemployment new tools to connect with employers and get back to work,” said Carney. "It will give the long-term unemployed specific guidance and assistance in finding jobs that fit with their skills and experience."
The grant will be used to establish an REA program in Delaware that offers participants personalized re-employment plans tailored to their individual career interests and local labor markets. Assessments are performed in person, and participants also receive referrals to re-employment services and job training provided by the American Job Center. The program saves money by reducing the length of time claimants spend collecting unemployment benefits while searching for work. It also includes a complete review of participants’ unemployment insurance eligibility to reduce incidences of improper payments.
The grant is a part of $64.3 million awarded by the Department of Labor to 38 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia to implement or continue REAs for individuals who receive unemployment benefits. Delaware, Connecticut and the Virgin Islands received first-time grants to implement the program.