ETA News Release: [06/25/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052
Release Number: 09-0736-SEA
U.S. Labor Department announces release of $5.2 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Alaska
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $5,206,411 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Alaska. Alaska qualified for a portion of its share of the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.
"Alaska updated its unemployment program to better meet the needs of the 21st century workforce by enabling recent entrants to the workforce to be eligible for unemployment benefits," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Now more than ever, it is critical that workers and their families receive the benefits they need and deserve."
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.
"Like every other state in America, Alaska is feeling the effects of the international recession, so these unemployment funds will come in handy for those Alaskans who find themselves looking for jobs," said U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. "I was pleased to support the economic recovery bill that provides this money to our state and hope the state of Alaska puts these funds to good use to help Alaskans who need them."
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. Alaska'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.