Here’s some good news for people who’ve been unemployed seven months or more. This week the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced that the U.S. Department of Labor had given it an “emergency” grant for $1,769,095 to “expand the service capacity of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dislocated Worker training and employment program.”
Though the unemployment rate for the state is currently less than five percent–the lowest level since 2008–former U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall said earlier this year that those unemployed for 27 weeks or more are “helping to hold back economic growth.”
According to a Sept. 24 press release from the state Department of Labor, the Dislocated Worker program helps those who’ve been out of work a long time in a variety of ways.
“The Dislocated Worker Program helps those who have been laid-off by providing a series of intensive career counseling and preparation services designed to facilitate reentry into the job market,” stated the press release. “If job seekers are not able to find employment, they can also access other programs that provide on-the-job training as well as upgrade their existing skills.”
Those seeking help under the program have to meet one of the four following criteria:
1. Fired or laid off, is eligible for or has exhausted unemployment benefits and is “unlikely to return to the same job or industry;”
2. Laid off or has received notice from his or her employer;
3. Formerly self-employed but is now jobless because of “deteriorating economic conditions” or a natural disaster;
4. Was a homemaker relying on another family member but is now “no longer supported by that income” and is “experiencing difficulties obtaining employment.”
Those on Maui interested in the program should contact WorkSource Maui (2064 Wells St., #108, Wailuku). They can call 808-984-2091 or go online to Labor.hawaii.gov/wdd/onestop.