Federal grant to help state’s dislocated workers

Missoula Current

The state received a $1.1 million grant this week from the U.S. Department of Labor to better connected workforce information systems among state agencies.

In all, the federal agency awarded a total of $43 million to 43 states and territories through the Reemployment and Systems Integration National Dislocated Worker Grant.

“This funding will improve the coordination between state agencies providing services to Montana’s workforce,” said Pam Bucy, commission of the state Department of Labor and Industry. “By further integrating information we all share, workers across the state will be the beneficiaries.”

The grant will provide opportunities for the state DOL, the Office of Public Instruction and the Department of Public Health and Human Services to further assist dislocated workers in communities across the state by moving towards more integrated workforce information systems.

DPHHS Director Richard Opper said the grant will also help those with disabilities find a job by making job information more accessible. The grant may also help recent high-school graduates find work.

“We know more Montana students are graduating from high school than ever before,” said Denise Juneau, superintendent of the Office of Public Instruction. “It’s key we also have the ability to collaborate with state partners to make sure those graduates have job opportunities.”