ATLANTA (AP) -- March 18, 2012
State leaders may find the solution on how to deal with unemployment and the state's trust fund debt in a $1 billion federal pilot program. The program is similar to a state initiative that pairs jobless workers with potential employers.
Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says the agency plans to apply to the federal program, which splits the money among 10 states and was approved last month by Congress. The program mirrors the state jobs program known as Georgia Works.
Competition for the funds could be stiff, but Georgia's past experience with such a program could help the state. The program could ease the burden on states' unemployment trust funds, which have been depleted in the economic downturn, forcing states to borrow heavily from the federal government to cover payments.