Workforce
Programs

Unemployment
Insurance*

Awarded Funds to Date:

$66.9 million

$675. 7 million

Total Committed or Under Contract:

$53.1 million

$231.2 million

Expended Funds to Date:

$26.9 million

$230.8 million

Note: The above amounts reflect the total ARRA funding to Labor & Workforce Development for workforce programs, unemployment benefits and administrative costs.

*Unemployment Insurance programs are not reportable under section 1512.

Ishmael Salaam: New Hope for the Future

Last spring, Ishmael "Izzy" Salaam, 21, was going to the Franklin-Hampshire Career Center at least four days a week looking for work. He had just been removed from voluntary custody by DSS and heSalaam worked at the Forbes Library in Northampton in the mornings setting up its anti-virus protection system on over 30 computers. In the afternoons, he worked on a Mock Trial
needed a source of income. He ran into Paul Putnam, who runs the Summer Youth Employment program at the center. The program had received stimulus funding and Putnam was looking to place youth in the various work experiences that the program was funding.

Putnam convinced Salaam to join the program. "I feel like it put me back in the right direction," says Salaam.

Salaam was forced to withdraw from high school in his junior year because he didn't have a stable
program, which involved preparing a law case with the participants taking different roles in the judicial system. Salaam was the prosecuting attorney. For Salaam, the Summer Youth Employment program meant money in his pocket - and more. It showed him, he says, that "I could really be a lawyer. Maybe not immediately but it definitely gave me an interest in the judicial system."

After Salaam completed the paid working experiences, the stimulus-funded summer initiative
place to live. He eventually joined Dial/Self, which provides an independent living center for teens, and got his GED. He did a few semesters of college but found it difficult. His poor grades led DSS to remove him from voluntary custody, which necessitated a job for Salaam. The ARRA funded Summer Youth Employment program fit the bill.

connected him with the Career Center's year-round vendor, the YWCA. The organization agreed to pay Salaam's tuition at Holyoke Community College, where he is majoring in Electronic Media Studies.

"I feel like I'm on a good path now," he says. "I feel confident about my future."


Massachusetts will invest over $66 million of Recovery funds in formula grants to the 16 workforce regions across the Commonwealth. An additional $3 million in Recovery funds has been sub-granted from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security through its ARRA Byrne/Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to support work experience opportunities for at-risk youth and young adults in 32 cities and towns. The Department of Workforce Development's Rapid Response Unit works with local workforce boards to apply for Dislocated Worker National Emergency Grants (NEG's) to help individuals and communities recover economically from the consequences of plant closures and large-scale layoffs.

As of December 31, 2009, Recovery funds have made it possible for the Commonwealth's 16 workforce regions and the 37 One-Stop Career Centers to provide services to over 63,000 individuals. These services include job counseling, job search assistance, skill assessment and intensive case management. For eligible individuals, free education and training activities are also provided. The majority of these individuals have received personalized assistance from staff at the One-Stop Career Centers as they seek jobs and develop the skills to help them achieve successful employment outcomes.

To date, the Byrne/JAG funding is supporting work opportunities for 864 youth in 32 cities and towns in a program scheduled to operate until April 30, 2010. Many of the program participants, ages 14 - 24, work up to 25 hours per week, and take part in work readiness training that helps them develop the necessary skills to compete in the job market. Approximately 72% of program participants are in school, 20% are either foster-youth, court involved or high school dropouts. A high number of participating youths - 45% - have a physical or mental health related disability.

During the second reporting period, Massachusetts has also been approved for up to $5,334,055 in National Emergency Grants (NEG) funding to support dislocated workers in situations such as: layoffs in a single plant closure of over 50 workers, multiple company layoffs in a specific region, and industry-wide layoffs in the Commonwealth's financial industry. Initial NEG awards to the Commonwealth thus far total $3,921,301 and will support targeted services and assistance for workers laid-off due to a plant closure at Jabil Circuit, Inc. in Billerica, individuals laid off in the financial industry in the Metro South West area and individuals from multiple industries who were laid off from nine companies in the Metro South West area.

Unemployment Benefits and Administration

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) estimates that $500 million in Recovery funds will come to Massachusetts claimants from the $25 per week increase in benefit payments to unemployment claimants (this includes estimates of $100 million for fiscal year 2009 and $400 million for fiscal year 2010.) This funding is received through reimbursements after claims have been paid. Overall, 508,085 people have benefited from the additional unemployment compensation. ARRA has also extended the qualifying time for the existing federal Unemployment Insurance extensions. This allowed 182,350 persons to collect federal extended benefits in 2009 who would not have otherwise qualified.

Over $162 million in Recovery funds will bolster the Commonwealth's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, the state fund that pays unemployment compensation. The Commonwealth has also received

$11.6 million in Recovery funds to support technology upgrades to our Unemployment Compensation system.

Programs creating or retaining jobs with Recovery funds for the quarter ending December 31, 2009 include:

  • The Byrne/JAG Youth Employment Program which is supporting employment opportunities for 864 youths in 32 cities and towns, while providing them with additional supportive services.

  • Recovery funds support increased staffing at the Commonwealth's 37 One-Stop Career Centers to provide enhanced services to unemployed and regular job seekers and employers.


Created January 29, 2010. Information provided by the Recovery & Reinvestment Office.