Fed grant to boost RI unemployment program

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is getting more than $445,000 in federal funds to improve the quality of the state’s unemployment insurance program.

The funding from the U.S. Labor Department is part of more than $87 million awarded to 46 states. The grants were announced on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez says the grants will allow state agencies to upgrade their unemployment insurance programs through new technologies. The aim is to ensure that those eligible to receive benefits are getting them and that recipients get the resources they need to find work.

Rhode Island is participating in a consortia project with Mississippi and Maine. The consortia approach is designed to minimize the cost of multiple states implementing costly system redesigns while improving overall performance.

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