March 25, 2020
Understanding Dislocated Worker Grants
To mitigate unemployment caused by the coronavirus, the Department of Labor recently announced a $100 million expansion of its Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) program, which provides temporary employment and training through state and local workforce programs. By supporting state and local agencies, DWG grants allow for a more localized way to address unemployment, but a $100 million expansion is unlikely to provide sufficient funding for all the states and localities that apply, note AAF’s Labor Market Policy Data Analyst Isabel Soto and Mary Gately.
While Congress continues to tweak pending legislation, the Department of Labor will need to speed up its process of accepting and determining the grant awards for the states that applied in order for the DWG program to provide any relief to workers. The Department of Labor typically takes about two months to deliver the awards to the states. Two months from now, however, more businesses are expected to close, which means relief is needed as soon as possible. Trusting that both the state and federal government carry out their authority effectively, the latest policy changes, paired with DWG expansion, could provide more support to a greater number of unemployed and underskilled workers.