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By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Staff Writer
BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor last week awarded $159,734 to the state of Rhode Island to further its Self-Employment Assistance program.
According to a news release, Rhode Island will use the grant to enhance and promote the program, which provides voluntary participants with financial assistance equal to Unemployment Insurance benefits while receiving entrepreneurial training and access to resources to help them launch their own businesses.
The grant includes $136,915 for improved program administration and an additional $22,819 for promotional and enrollment activities.
The state, which was tied with Nevada for the nation’s highest unemployment rate as 2012 drew to a close, plans to use some of the grant to fund intensive training and one-on-one mentoring for participants.
“Rhode Island is taking an important step forward to help its unemployed residents create their own jobs and perhaps start hiring employees of their own,” said Jane Oates, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training in prepared remarks. “This funding will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with financial support while they access the resources, information and training they need to get a business off the ground.”
Funding for this initiative is part of a series of reforms to the federal Unemployment Insurance program made possible through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.
For more information about Self-Employment Assistance programs, read the Unemployment Insurance program letter at s.dol.gov/S5.