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News Release

US Department of Labor awards grant to Rhode Island to enhance state's Self-Employment Assistance program

BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded a grant of $159,734 to the state of Rhode Island to enhance and promote its Self-Employment Assistance program. Rhode Island plans to use the funding to implement intensive training as well as one-on-one mentoring to assist potential entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses.

"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. "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 innovative reforms to the federal Unemployment Insurance program made possible through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The grant includes $136,915 for improved administration of the program and $22,819 for promotion and enrollment activities.

Participants in voluntary Self-Employment Assistance programs are provided with financial assistance equal to their Unemployment Insurance benefits while they receive important entrepreneurial training and access to resources to help launch their own businesses. In order to allow participants to devote full-time attention to creating new businesses that have the potential to create additional jobs, state work search requirements are waived.

For more information about Self-Employment Assistance programs, read the Unemployment Insurance program letter at


Employment and Training Administration
February 13, 2013
Release Number