States including Nevada can now apply for a grant to help with job creation and employment training for unemployed and underemployed workers.
The Department of Labor announced Wednesday that its Quality Jobs, Equity, Strategy and Training National Dislocated Worker grants has $140 million in available funding, with award amounts of up to $15 million.
The grant is meant to help states support women, people of color, lower-wage workers and people with disabilities find quality jobs in growing industries such as infrastructure, environment and climate.
“QUEST grants will help prepare marginalized workers for high-quality jobs that include family-sustaining wages and benefits and offer clear paths for advancement,” Brent Parton, acting assistant secretary for employment and training, said in a news release.
While the unemployment rate has dropped significantly since the height of the pandemic in 2020, many states including Nevada are still rebounding from the pandemic’s economic impact. Nevada’s unemployment rate is 4.9 percent for May — a sharp decline from May 2020 when it was 23.4 percent — but the state is still slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.
A letter from the Labor Department to state workforce agencies noted that “many of the workers most negatively impacted by the pandemic continue to face persistent challenges with finding quality jobs.” It also said many historically marginalized individuals such as people of color, people with disabilities and those without high school diplomas “have not regained their prepandemic employment rates and continue to experience the most significant employment barriers.” By offering the QUEST National Dislocated Worker grant, the Labor Department said it hopes to help states support those individuals as they look for better paying jobs.
Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation said in a statement that it plans to apply for the Labor Department grant.
“DETR believes this money could only further our existing efforts to help Nevadans find jobs and get the training they need to be successful in their careers. We are applying for this grant opportunity and are already thinking of the best places to invest additional workforce dollars,” according to the statement.
It will help bolster the employment office’s existing workforce programs that offer training and support for job seekers as well as businesses looking to fill positions. DETR said job seekers can find additional help and training at its JobConnect offices throughout the valley or online at EmployNV.gov.
This story has been updated to include additional details.