Pisciottano applauds nearly $400,000 to eliminate local UC barriers

Grants to help rural and low-income communities access unemployment compensation

WEST MIFFLIN, Sept. 27 – The Mon Valley Unemployed Committee will receive $396,080 in grants from the state Department of Labor & Industry to help local workers navigate the state unemployment compensation system, state Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, announced today.

“The unemployment crisis caused by the pandemic revealed some major problems with our unemployment compensation system,” said Pisciottano. “I’m very pleased to see direct action at the community level to help unemployed individuals get the assistance they need in a more timely fashion.”

Pisciottano added that the funds driven to the MVUC will expand outreach to those most in need of assistance across the region, especially for those in low-income communities with limited access or familiarity with technology and individuals with disabilities.

The funds awarded to the MVUC are part of a $2.5 million UC Navigator Grant announcement awarded to seven organizations across the state last week.

Recipient organizations may use the funds for outreach and education (classes, workshops, seminars), educational equipment, staffing, training, and vendor costs (translation services, print/mail).

The organizations will also be trained by L&I staff on various aspects of the UC system, including initial applications, weekly certifications, appeals, and identity verification. L&I will also work with the community-based organizations to develop printed and web-based materials that will be translated into various languages and designed to address common questions and concerns from marginalized communities.