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The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) was awarded a $9.1 million grant from the U.S Department of Labor (USDOL) to “promote equitable access to New York’s unemployment insurance (UI) program.”
A press release stated, “The equity grant, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, will fund projects designed to break down barriers to UI services. Potential barriers to be addressed specifically include those related to race, ethnicity, language proficiency, literacy, disability status, socioeconomic status, geographic location, or other systemic barriers. The funding will help NYSDOL continue its ongoing effort to make sure all New Yorkers, especially those in underserved communities, are able to tap into critical support and have access to UI benefits.”
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “I thank the Biden administration for providing this equity grant to help us ensure that every New Yorker is able to access the services they need during tough economic times. This grant will provide critical funding to advance our ongoing efforts to modernize our unemployment insurance system and enhance the customer experience to ensure we break down potential barriers to benefits.”
The press release said, “NYSDOL will use the funding to build on its ongoing equity and accessibility projects to make it easier for New Yorkers to discover, learn about, and access UI services. NYSDOL will also review application instructions and simplify language to reduce confusion and prevent improper payments. There will also be a focus on improving access for those who are hearing and visually impaired. NYSDOL continuously strives to be inclusive and accessible for all New Yorkers.”
This grant was administered by USDOL’s employment and training administration and corresponds with USDOL’s August 2021 announcement of the availability of up to $260 million in grants for states to promote equitable access to unemployment insurance benefits. To date, USDOL has announced $166 million in funds awarded to 32 states and the District of Columbia.
For more information, visit USDOL’s employment and training administration webpage.