FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 11, 2012) — Kentucky’s Office of Employment and Training (OET) will receive a grant of $299,382 from the U.S. Department of Labor to implement the Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) initiative for Kentuckians receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to help them find a job.
Kentucky is one of 42 states that will receive approximately $65 million in grants to implement or continue the REA initiative. According to recent evaluations of existing programs, the use of REAs expedites the re-employment of UI claimants.
“The re-employment of Kentuckians who are receiving UI benefits is a high priority for us,” said Beth Brinly, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. “We have found that when we increase our efforts to assist UI claimants by using focused, individual services, the claimants find jobs quicker, they need fewer weeks of UI benefits and there are fewer erroneous payments. The REA initiative addresses these priorities and helps people get back into the labor force sooner.”
The funds will be used to conduct in-person assessments of individuals receiving UI benefits at the state’s One-Stop Career Centers. Each assessment must include the development of a re-employment plan for the claimant; labor market information that is appropriate to the claimant’s location and employment prospects; a complete review of the claimant’s eligibility for UI benefits; and a referral to re-employment services and/or training that are outside of the UI program and delivered by the One-Stop Career Centers.
OET is focusing attention and resources on better integrating and connecting unemployment compensation with employment and training services that are available through the state’s One-Stop Career System. The goal is to ensure that these claimants have access to the full array of employment and training services as they comply with the state’s requirement to actively engage in seeking work as a condition of receiving benefits.
OET helps individuals prepare for, secure and maintain employment; assists employers in locating and selecting the best qualified workers for their job openings; and provides income maintenance to ease the financial burden on individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own.
The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department of Workforce Investment. For more information about services, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov, www.workforce.ky.gov or www.oet.ky.gov.