Sunday, September 22, 2013

Self-Employment Assistance Grant Boost for Dislocated Workers Receive

KRA Corporation examines the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) recent award of a two-state Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program grants and how they stands to benefit Mississippi (through program implementation) and New York (by enhancing the existing program) respectively.

The additional funding for the SEA program was provided through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It effectively expanded to program to aid Dislocated Workers in their own job creation by allowing them to launch a small businesses while drawing a self-employed allowance in lieu of normal Unemployment Insurance.

The allowance (or the same weekly amount as the worker’s regular UI benefits) provides the buffer so that eligible program participants have the space and security to be able to get their own business off the ground thereby ensuring future full-time employment.

The grants of almost $2.5 million ($2,335, 270) are to be divided between Mississippi and New York. Mississippi will join Delaware, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island as an active SEA state, receiving $356,271 of the grant to start it up. The fund is has been earmarked to develop, implement, and administer a permanent program, identifying businesses, nonprofit and government organization partnerships.

Active SEA program state,  New York, will receive the lion share of the grant to enhance its existing program to: ” improve customer service and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations by teaching participants how to complete applications, certifications, benchmark forms and surveys online.”

Helping Dislocated Workers re-enter the workforce featured frequently on the DOL’s to do list lately. A recent grant of $58 million in state infusion funds was passed to promote long-term unemployed Dislocated Workers training programs (which KRA Corporation highlighted in a recent post Getting Dislocated Workers Back to Work).

Eric M. Seleznow, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training foresees the move as being the passage for future job opportunities, too. He was quoted as saying that it would help “unemployed residents create their own jobs and eventually start hiring employees of their own,” as well as “form their own businesses while potentially boosting economic activity in the state.”

The importance of aiding Dislocated Workers is something that KRA Corporation fully appreciates. Offering critical services like trainings linking customers to job opportunities in their communities—which including both basic skills and occupational training skills—our WIA Adults/Dislocated Workers operations provide opportunities to Adult and Dislocated Workers.

The initiative taken by the DOL in trying a different tack regarding the UI program, is one that KRA Corporation applauds. These innovative attempt and others taken by individuals or groups that seek to utilize this opportunity to create their own enterprise and in doing so potentially help to generate economic growth, develop the workforce, and strengthen communities in those participating states is something we continue to support.

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