WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of grants totaling $2,335,270 to Mississippi and New York to develop and enhance Self-Employment Assistance programs for eligible individuals. Participants in this voluntary program will receive: entrepreneurial training; access to resources to help to help launch their own businesses and financial assistance, which will be equal to what qualified participants would otherwise receive under their Unemployment Insurance benefit eligibility.
"Mississippi and New York are taking an important step forward to help their unemployed residents create their own jobs and eventually start hiring employees of their own," said Eric M. Seleznow, acting assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. "Self-Employment Assistance programs are a win-win by helping unemployed residents form their own businesses while potentially boosting economic activity in the state."
Mississippi will receive a grant of $356,271 to develop, implement and administer a permanent Self-Employment Assistance program for individuals who are eligible for regular state Unemployment Insurance. The state will partner with businesses, nonprofits and government organizations to establish and launch a Self-Employment Assistance program that offers training and services to Unemployment Insurance-eligible individuals to start their own businesses.
New York State will receive a grant of $1,978,999 to enhance the operation and administration of the state's existing Self-Employment Assistance program for individuals who are eligible to receive regular state Unemployment Insurance and federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. The funding will also allow for expansion of the program to serve those individuals eligible for Extended Benefits. The funding will enable New York to improve customer service and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations by teaching participants how to complete applications, certifications, benchmark forms and surveys online.
Funding for expanding Self-Employment Assistance programs 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.
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.