Louisiana wins $2.95 million to help laid off workers return to wor

Staff reports

The Louisiana Workforce Commission will receive $2.95

 million in federal funds to provide additional services to Louisiana’s

 unemployed, the U.S. Department of Labor announced.

The money will come from a Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment grant,

 part of $65.5 million to be distributed nationwide.

“This funding means we will be able to provide even greater personalized

 services to Louisiana residents who are laid off,” said LWC Executive

 Director Curt Eysink. “That includes providing personalized assessments,

 re-employment planning, customized labor market analyses and training

 referrals.”

The $2.95 million REA grant will fund services through most of the state’s

 Business and Career Solutions Centers.

The grant will help fund the response to general levels of unemployment,

 and also several specific events that have or are expected to increase

 unemployment, including:

* The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010;

*The scheduled closure in August of General Motors’ plant in Northwest

* Louisiana, along with some of its suppliers and support service

    providers, which combined are expected to affect about 1,400 people;

* The phased closure of Huntington Ingall’s Avondale shipyard will

    continue to affect several thousand workers through 2013.

"Louisiana's re-employment efforts jumped seven places last year in a

 ranking of the states, and this grant will help continue that

 improvement," Eysink said.

In Louisiana, the maximum unemployment benefit is $247 a week. REA grants

 have been shown to reduce the number of weeks claimants draw unemployment

 insurance benefits by hastening their return to work.

Read more about the USDOL’s REA grant program at

 http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20120916.htm.