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Date:June 22, 2011
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Louisiana Workforce Commission $389,000 Grant to Continue Re-employment Efforts

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $389,549 grant to continue a re-employment and eligibility assessment (REA) initiative started last year for Louisianians who are receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

“We are glad that the U.S. Department of Labor has given us the means to continue this important re-employment initiative,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “Through the program, we are able to identify best practices that will help job seekers get back into the workforce as quickly as possible.”

The four areas that were selected for the Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment in Louisiana (REAL) pilot program last year - East Baton Rouge, Caddo, Calcasieu and Rapides - will continue to provide REAL services to claimants. The areas were chosen based on a representation of the state’s urban and rural regions, emerging economic industries and population.

A total of 8,000 UI claimants will participate in the initiative, which will run through local Business & Career Solutions Centers in the selected areas.

Components of the program include assessment of barriers to employment, benefits eligibility review, customized employment plans based on the unemployed claimant’s needs and ongoing follow-up.

The REAL initiative will reduce unemployment insurance overpayments and increase in the number of direct job referrals and hirings.

Awards totaling $48.7 million were announced by the USDOL to implement or continue the REA initiative in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

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