New Mexico One Of Seven States To Receive Federal Grant To Reach Marginalized Communities For Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Sen. Ben Ray Luján

NMDWS News:

ALBUQUERQUE — The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has awarded New Mexico a Navigator grant of $2.8 million to expand outreach and support for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in marginalized communities.

“As our communities continue to recover and rebuild, it’s critical New Mexicans have access to services like Unemployment Insurance,” Sen. Ben Ray Luján said. “That’s why I’m glad this strong investment from the American Rescue Plan will help expand outreach and improve accessibility to these services as our state continues to move forward in the recovery process.”

USDOL announced the availability of $15 million in state grants in January. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) applied and was one of seven states to receive the Navigator grant funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“Over the past two years, we’ve learned so much about opportunities to strengthen our service to underserved populations,” said Ricky Serna, Acting Cabinet Secretary for NMDWS. “This grant will strengthen our preparation for future recessions and provide the administration with insights needed to address longstanding issues with access to state resources.”

The ARPA UI Navigator grant will be used in New Mexico to provide additional resources to create and increase partnerships and collaboration with two key Community Based Organizations (CBOs). The intention is to extend opportunities to connect marginalized groups to the culturally and linguistically relevant resources necessary to support a full understanding of the UI benefits application process for Native American and rural/remote citizens experiencing challenges and barriers to successfully interacting with the unemployment system.

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