National Emergency Grants: Services to Dislocated Workers Hampered by Delays in Grant Awards, but Labor Is Initiating Actions to Improve Grant Award Process

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Between 2000 and 2002, almost 60,000 mass layoffs of 50 or more workers occurred resulting in nearly 7 million workers losing their jobs. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 authorizes the Department of Labor to award national emergency grants to affected states and local areas to provide employment and training assistance to workers affected by major economic dislocations, such as plant closures, and major disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. Although national emergency grants are intended to be a timely response to unexpected events, questions ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. November 14, 2003.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Between 2000 and 2002, almost 60,000 mass layoffs of 50 or more workers occurred resulting in nearly 7 million workers losing their jobs. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 authorizes the Department of Labor to award national emergency grants to affected states and local areas to provide employment and training assistance to workers affected by major economic dislocations, such as plant closures, and major disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. Although national emergency grants are intended to be a timely response to unexpected events, questions arose during congressional hearings in April 2003 about whether national emergency grant funds were getting to state and local areas quickly enough to help workers when they needed it the most. WIA specifies separate funding streams for each of the act's main client groups--adults, youths, and dislocated workers--and requires the Secretary of Labor to reserve 20 percent of dislocated worker funds for national emergency grants, demonstrations, and technical assistance. States and local areas apply to the Secretary for national emergency grants when they need additional funds to assist dislocated workers. These include regular grants, which provide employment and training assistance to workers who lost their jobs due to layoffs and plant closings; disaster grants, which provide temporary employment to workers affected by natural disasters and other catastrophic events; and dual enrollment grants to provide supplemental assistance to workers who have been certified by Labor to receive services under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002. Workers eligible under dual enrollment grants are typically workers who have lost their jobs because of increased imports from, or shifts in production to, foreign countries. At least 85 percent of the Secretary's 20 percent funds must be used for national emergency grants, and these funds can only be awarded during the year the funds are allotted. From July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2003, Labor used these funds to award over $614 million in national emergency grants to 46 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Because of the concern about whether national emergency grants were awarded to states and local areas quickly enough to provide services to workers when they are most needed, we were asked to (1) determine the length of time Labor takes to award national emergency grants, (2) determine the effect delays in grant awards have on the ability of states and local areas to provide workers with employment and training services, and (3) identify actions Labor is taking to improve the timeliness of grant awards."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 14, 2003

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. National Emergency Grants: Services to Dislocated Workers Hampered by Delays in Grant Awards, but Labor Is Initiating Actions to Improve Grant Award Process, report, November 14, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc291455/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.