USDOL Awards $7.6 million to 5 States Employing Innovative Re-employment Strategies

The states of Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York and Oregon were granted more than $7.6 million dollars to create and implement new re-employment strategies. These initiatives designed to re-employ thousands of displaced workers represent a significant investment in reducing the number of unemployed U.S. workers. Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor said that “Getting America back to work is a top priority of the DOL.” The DOL recognizes that getting this done will require more creative thinking and innovative solutions than those tried in the past. The hope that is these grants will help drive the next steps needed to improve services to unemployed workers. What are the best jobs going to be in 2012? Jobs in technology and computer-related fields and health care are just a few of the industries that promise the largest expansion in the coming year.

Here are the grants approved in the aforementioned states (* indicates the funds are specifically focused on social media):

State Organization Amount
Idaho Idaho Department of Labor $750,000*
Minnesota Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development $750,000*
Mississippi Mississippi Department of Employment Security $2,000,000
New York New York Department of Labor $2,000,000 plus $750,000*
Oregon Oregon Employment Department $1,393,072
Total $7,643,072

The states will use the funds to design a common “front door” to the workforce system to ensure Unemployment Insurance claimants have immediate access to re-employment services when they file claims for benefits; improve data integration and assess transferable skills to help claimants and workforce professionals make decisions; and effectively incorporate social media to connect unemployed workers with jobs. The tools and resources developed by the states will be implemented in partnership with Local Workforce Boards and One-Stop Career Centers, and will serve as a model to improve re-employment services nationally. These grants are awarded in partner-ship with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and are funded through the Workforce Investment Act. If your company is engaged in hiring in these states, be sure to contact local representatives to see how you can benefit from these new initiatives.

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