SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded a grant of $332,576 to the state of Oregon to enhance and promote its Self-Employment Assistance program. The program provides entrepreneurial services for individuals eligible to receive regular unemployment compensation as well as individuals eligible to receive Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
"Oregon has been on the forefront of expanding opportunities for its unemployed to become successful entrepreneurs," said Eric Seleznow, acting assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. "The funding announced today will help aspiring business owners access the resources, information and training they need to get a business off the ground."
Oregon plans to use the funding to implement intensive training and one-on-one counseling to assist potential entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses and to improve customer service through the expanded use of the internet, social media, and interactive websites.
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 $265,850 for the improved administration of their Self-Employment Assistance program and $66,726 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 http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=3919.