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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Over $26 Million in Dislocated Worker Grants in Response to Coronavirus Public Health Emergency

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of seven Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) totaling $26,751,963 to help address the workforce-related impacts of the public health emergency related to coronavirus. These awards are funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided $345 million for DWGs to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus. This latest award follows three previous waves of funding, bringing the total amount awarded to states and territories to $198,221,958.

“These grants can help states manage the various workforce issues caused by coronavirus, whether that means finding workers to fill roles focused on addressing the coronavirus or providing training opportunities for workers to enhance their skillset and find the right job,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “The Department has also made it known that these DWG funds can be used in conjunction with state and local health agencies to assist in contact tracing to further support states’ efforts to safely reopen.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the coronavirus a nationwide public health emergency on Jan. 31, 2020. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also issued coronavirus emergency declarations for states, outlying areas and Indian tribal governments on March 13, 2020.  These federal declarations enable the Secretary of Labor to award Disaster Recovery DWGs to help address the workforce-related impacts of this public health emergency.  

Disaster Recovery DWGs may provide eligible participants disaster-relief employment to address coronavirus impacts within their communities, as well as employment and training activities. Employment Recovery DWGs provide reemployment services to eligible individuals affected by mass layoffs, such as those resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Six states will receive award funding in this wave. They include Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey and Tennessee.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.

For further information about the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Employment and Training Administration
May 15, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Department of Labor National Contact Center
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