Washington, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on Tuesday, June 24, that the District of Columbia, along with 37 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will receive $68.7 million dollars to implement and/or continue their Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) programs. The programs will not only assist Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants with job training, re-employment resources, and pathways back to the workforce, but will also help enhance UI program integrity and reduce UI fraud. Specifically, the District of Columbia was awarded $660,870 to continue and strengthen its REA program, which is administered by the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) American Job Centers Operations.
“I am extremely pleased that the Department of Labor continues to invest in the nation’s unemployed and remains committed to ensuring that this constituency is given all the necessary tools to reenter the workforce successfully,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “Given the challenges that many of our unemployed residents face with returning to the workforce due to increased competition and skill demand in the job market, these funds will enable the District to provide them with the resources available to enhance their skills and support their job-search efforts.”
The REA program helps claimants develop individual employment plans, offers labor market information specific to their employment goals and interests, and provides information about additional reemployment and retraining services for which they may qualify.
“This grant is one of the tools that we use to identify the best path back to reemployment and reduce the likelihood that a customer will exhaust their unemployment benefits before returning to work,” added DOES Acting Director Tom Luparello.
Since 2005, DOL has awarded funding to states to implement the REA initiative, with recent studies showing that the REA program has been effective nationwide as a means to help limit the duration UI beneficiaries receive benefits, reduce the amount of benefits allocated, and assist UI claimants to exit the UI program sooner.
The mission of the Department of Employment Services is to plan, develop, and administer employment-related services to all segments of the Washington, DC metropolitan population. We achieve our mission through empowering and sustaining a diverse workforce, which enables all sectors of the community to achieve economic and social stability.