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Local job training groups get more than $2.2M to help workers

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Three local job training groups have received three federal grants totaling more than $2.2 million to help support job search, training and re-employment services for local workers.

Workforce Southwest Washington secured the money last week from the U.S. Department of Labor Dislocated Workers grant program, according to a news release. The grants, which total about $2.26 million, will go to the following agencies:

  • WorkSource, a statewide partnership of local, state and nonprofit agencies that provides employment and training services to Washington workers.
  • Next, a Clark County-based job training program for young adults ages 16 to 24.
  • Goodwill of the Olympic and Rainier Region, a job training and career placement program that operates in Cowlitz County and has a retail store and work center at the Longview Goodwill.

The groups will use the money to support workers that lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic with job search and job training services, as well as support services such as food assistance and connections to housing resources. The funding will cover these services through March 2022, according to the news release.

Training and employment placement will focus on helping individuals obtain stable, living-wage employment in the region’s high-growth and in-demand sectors of technology, manufacturing and healthcare, according to the release.

Workforce SWWA also will invest funds in Disaster Relief Employment support for the Boys and Girls Club, Clark County Food Bank, Goodwill of the Olympic and Rainier Region, Ethnic Support Council, Council for the Homeless and Bridgeview Resource Center. This money is intended to enable these organizations to temporarily expand capacity to serve laid-off workers, the release says.

The third grant will provide those affected by opioid use and addiction with employment and training services and mentoring.

The local WorkSource centers in Vancouver and Kelso are providing job and employment assistance virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and can be reached by phone, email and video conference.

“With more than 21,000 Southwest Washington residents filing continuing unemployment claims, the need in our community is great,” Workforce SWWA CEO Kevin Perkey said in a prepared statement Friday. “We’re investing in short-term job-readiness training to get laid-off workers back to work quickly and longer-term training to help people get the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs as the economy recovers.”

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