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Mayor Gray Welcomes DOL Grant to Bolster District’s Success in Boosting Employment Services for Residents

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mayor Gray Welcomes DOL Grant to Bolster District’s Success in Boosting Employment Services for Residents

The grant will support DOES services; the District’s June unemployment rate remains at 8.5 percent

 (Washington, DC) – Mayor Gray today welcomed a US Department of Labor grant of $416,000 to the District to provide re-employment services to individuals receiving extended unemployment insurance benefits. The award allows the Department of Employment Services (DOES) to bolster its job-readiness preparation, training referrals, labor-market assessments (to evaluate and match residents’ skills with current market demands), and other services that help District residents get back to work. 

“Getting District residents back to work and giving them the skills they need to enjoy employment security in the future have been top priorities for me, and I’m grateful to the Department of Labor for this grant, which will help us devote even more resources toward meeting those goals,” Mayor Gray said. “We’ve already had significant success at bringing down the unemployment rate across the District, and especially in the parts of our city hit hardest by the recession – but I won’t rest until every District resident who is willing and able to work has a job.”

The grants are part of the Department of Labor’s Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) initiative. Studies of REA programs have shown that these assessments reduce the number of weeks that workers claim unemployment insurance benefits by expediting re-employment. 

“We are excited that this grant will add to the continuum of services we provide to unemployed individuals, beginning as soon as they are separated from work,” said DOES Director Lisa María Mallory. “This additional funding strengthens our support to individuals receiving Extended Unemployment Compensation benefits by encouraging and supporting their active engagement to search for work.” 

The District continues an ambitious approach to further reduce the District’s unemployment rate, which remained at 8.5 percent for June 2013 according to figures released this morning by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through the innovative One City • One Hire program’s Path2Work opportunities, District residents are offered re-employment assessments, stronger connections to training in high-demand occupations, and opportunities to interview directly with hiring employers. 

For more information about One City • One Hire, please visit www.onecityonehire.org. For information about all services DOES offers, please visit www.does.dc.gov

For more information on the U.S. Department of Labor REA grant awards, please visit http://www.dol.gov/.