AP News

RI labor department to rehire 15 laid off workers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An influx of federal funds will allow Rhode Island's labor department to rehire 15 workers who were laid off in July.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced the grant Thursday. The money is part of $17 million in new federal funds for unemployment programs in Rhode Island.

Nearly $540,000 of the money will be used to rehire 15 full-time workers at the Department of Labor and Training's unemployment call center. Sixty-seven department staffers were laid off in July, though seven were rehired a month later. The state warned that the layoffs would cause longer wait times on the unemployment call line.

Nearly $11 million will go to efforts to use technology to improve and modernize the state's unemployment system.

The remainder will help fund a variety of other unemployment programs.

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