The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of up to $100 million for Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) to help address the workforce-related impacts of the public health emergency related to COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a nationwide public health emergency as a result of confirmed cases of the coronavirus. This federal declaration enables the Secretary of Labor to award Disaster Recovery DWGs to help address the workforce-related impacts of this public health emergency (WIOA Act Section 170(a)(1)(B)).
“As Americans make sacrifices to combat the spread of coronavirus, President Trump’s priority is to protect and sustain America’s workers and their families,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said. “The availability of Dislocated Worker Grants will help states and communities strengthen their economies as we fight to slow the spread of the virus and regain our economic momentum.”
Entities eligible to apply for Disaster Recovery DWGs are states, outlying areas and Indian Tribal Governments as defined in the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(6)). Disaster Recovery DWGs will provide eligible participants with both disaster-relief employment and employment and training activities. These participants can include dislocated workers, workers who were laid-off as a result of the disaster, self-employed individuals who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the disaster, and long-term unemployed individuals.
Eligible entities can also apply for Employment Recovery DWGs in response to layoffs caused by cancellations or shutdowns caused by coronavirus. Employment Recovery DWGs will provide employment and training services to reintegrate eligible individuals back into the workforce. States can apply for Employment Recovery DWGs if 50 or more individuals are laid off by one employer or if there are significant layoffs that significantly increase unemployment in a given community, even if the total layoffs are fewer than 50 individuals.
Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.
For further information about COVID-19, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Employment and Training Administration administers federal government job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.
The mission of the U.S. Department of Labor 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.