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New York receives federal grant

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2.3 million in grants to New York and Mississippi to develop and enhance self-employment assistance programs.

Participants in the voluntary program will receive entrepreneurial training, access to resources 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.

New York state will receive nearly $2 million to enhance the operation and administration of the state’s existing self-employment assistance program for those eligible to receive regular state unemployment insurance and federal emergency unemployment compensation.

The funding will also allow for expansion of the program to serve 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 reforms to the federal unemployment insurance program made possible through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.

For more information, read the letter at