Ohio is among the many states to face unemployment issues, owing to numerous factors such as fluctuations in the housing market, outsourcing of industrial jobs and general economic trends. However, unemployed Ohio residents can take advantage of individual grants and programs that rely on grant funding to find new jobs and meet their basic needs in the meantime.
Workforce Investment Act
Ohio administers state grant programs under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998. WIA grants make it possible for unemployed Ohio residents to attend educational events and search job listings at local and regional employment centers. Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services oversees WIA grants throughout the state, offering a total of more than $200 million each year. Unemployed Ohioans can also use WIA grants to pay for child care services, uniform expenses and transportation that facilitates a job search.
Adult Workforce Education
The Adult Workforce Education program is a worker development program specific to the state of Ohio. It uses grants to help unemployed residents prepare themselves to reenter the workforce. While AWE grants overlap with WIA grants in some areas, AWE focuses more on skills acquisition, career counseling and credentialing for workers. AWE also targets specific jobs that are in high demand and pay relatively high wages to workers with the necessary skills.
Prevention, Retention and Contingency
Ohio's Prevention, Retention and Contingency program helps low-income families, including those that have low incomes due to full or partial unemployment, sustain themselves over temporary periods of assistance. Each county in Ohio administers grant money directly to its own residents. Some of the uses for Prevention, Retention and Contingency grants include car repairs, food and clothing, relocation to affordable housing and job training.
Ohio Works First
Ohio Works First is a grant program available to unemployed individuals who have high levels of debt or can't pay their bills, including utility bills, rent and car payments. OWF delivers temporary monthly cash benefits to unemployed residents who qualify based on debt and income levels. The program also includes a job training aspect to limit the length of time people spend as recipients.