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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [06/24/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052
Release Number: 09-0719-DAL

U.S. Labor Department announces release of $75.9 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Oklahoma

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has certified for release $75,886,483 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma qualified for its full share of the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by providing for a variety of provisions that assist recent entrants to the workforce, part time workers, and people who become unemployed because of compelling family reasons.

"Oklahoma recognizes the importance of having a UI program that better meet the needs of the 21st century workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Oklahoma adopted UI modernization provisions that help unemployed workers who have entered the workforce recently, work part time or who become unemployed because of compelling family reasons."

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.

The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. Oklahoma's approved application will be posted at the Department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/. Other approved applications can also be found on this site.