The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has awarded the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) a hefty $11.25 million grant to continue to develop and modernize its unemployment insurance (UI) systems.

As part of this award, IDES will continue to support the state’s cyber defenses and create equitable access to UI systems within the state.

“IDES remains fully committed to enhancing accessibility, improving the claimant experience, and strengthening the defense of the UI system, all of which are long-term projects supported by these grant awards,” said IDES Acting Director Ray Marchiori.

“The Department is proud to be one of the grantees selected to receive these funds and will continue to leverage as much federal funding as possible to make critical modernization improvements in Illinois,” said Marchiori.

This award also stands as the sixth award that IDES has received from the Labor Department, totaling nearly $30 million to “strengthen, streamline, and enhance the customer experience and accessibility of the UI program and defend against fraud,” according to the press release.

“The U.S. Department of Labor prioritizes the modernization of the nation’s unemployment insurance systems and making them more accessible, efficient and secure,” said Laurence Bafundo, director of DoL’s Office of Unemployment Insurance Modernization.

The award is part of a $204 million fund that DoL is using across 19 states and territories to maximize technology modernization efforts across the country.

“Through the recent award of an IT modernization grant to Illinois, the Department of Labor continues its partnership to help the state make measurable improvements to their customer experience and adopt modular approaches that make technology easier to change and maintain,” said Bafundo.

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