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News Release

ETA News Release: [06/24/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052
Release Number: 09-0699-CHI

U.S. Labor Department announces release of $44.6 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Wisconsin

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has certified for release $44,644,693 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.

"Wisconsin recognized long ago the importance of expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits to recent entrants to the workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Especially now, when new jobs are tough to find, it is essential that these workers receive the benefits they need and deserve."

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.

"In spite of tough times, we must invest in our workers," said Gov. Jim Doyle. "With these funds, we will help our unemployed workers get back on their feet. We must do all we can to help them develop the skills they need for rewarding careers and, at the same time, make sure our employers have the workers they need with the right skills. These Recovery Act funds will provide opportunity for Wisconsin's working families hard hit by the prolonged national recession."

The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. Wisconsin's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/. Other approved applications can also be found on this site.