U.S. Department of Labor Awards $646 Million in Employment Service Grants to States

U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the disbursement of $646 million in Employment Service Grants to improve the functioning of the nation’s labor markets by providing labor exchange services to all job seekers and helping businesses to meet their hiring needs by referring qualified workers.

The Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), established the Employment Service, a nationwide system of public employment offices. The Employment Service serves job seekers in nearly 2,400 American Job Centers nationwide, providing services to all interested job seekers and businesses, and delivers reemployment services to unemployed individuals to help them return to work.

In January 2020, the Department made additional regulatory changes to the 2016 WIOA Final Rules to modernize the regulations implementing the Wagner-Peyser Act to align the regulations with the flexibility under WIOA, which allow states to tailor their staffing approach better when providing services in the Employment Service program.

“We are pleased to release over half a billion dollars in support of those who are currently looking for employment or a career change. The timing of this could not be better for the American people in light of the challenges that many are finding in the workplace due to the rise in unemployment caused by the pandemic. These dollars will provide integrated career services in accessible locations, benefiting workers, job seekers and businesses,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch.

In conjunction with Employment Service, the Department of Labor administers additional federal job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are provided primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

The mission of the Department is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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