PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota, Nebraska and Maryland are the latest states to be awarded federal grants for updating their benefits systems for people out of work through no fault of their own.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the assistance to the three states Thursday. South Dakota will use its $2,283,000 for changes to the state’s re-employment system, according to Dawn Dovre. She is deputy secretary for the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.
This is the fifth round of grants made to states from a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act. Previous recipients were Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, Indiana, Kentucky, Utah, Washington, Texas and the District of Columbia.
Dovre said the department received the official word Thursday.
“The new award will be utilized for development of the new initial claims interface, purchase of a new call center software system with new communication tools, and translation of reemployment assistance materials into the top two non-English languages in South Dakota,” she said. “This grant will be used to pay for the new initial claims interface which uses plain language to better assist people when applying for reemployment assistance benefits.”
Those languages, she added, are Spanish and Somali.