US Department Of Labor Awards $20M in Funding to Help Workers Overcome Barriers to State Unemployment Insurance Systems

To improve the delivery of unemployment insurance services to people faced with obstacles to accessing state systems and benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of more than $20 million in equity grant funding to state unemployment insurance systems in Indiana, Kentucky, Utah and Washington.

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the grants will fund projects that seek to ensure race, age, ethnicity, language proficiency, disability status, geographic location or other systemic barriers do not prevent those in need from accessing unemployment insurance benefits.

Funds will support projects designed to expand outreach, promote awareness, streamline instructions, provide translation services, improve technology, increase staffing and respond to other needs of disadvantaged communities.

Today’s grant recipients and total funds awarded are as follows:

  • Indiana: $6,770,631
  • Kentucky: $4,562,000
  • Utah: $1,838,047
  • Washington: $6,840,000

In August 2021, the department issued guidance to inform states about the availability of $260 million in grant funding. On March 1, 2022, the department announced the initial award of $20 million in grants and announced a second award of nearly $16 million in additional funding on March 29, 2022.