SWWDC and partners receive grant to train long-term unemployed individuals and veterans

The Southwest Washington/Portland Metro Area will receive nearly $8.5 million in grant funds to train 850 long-term unemployed individuals and 150 veterans for jobs in manufacturing and information technology.

The grant is part of nearly $170 million in Ready to Work grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to expedite the employment of Americans struggling with long-term unemployment.

The grant proposal, a collaboration between the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC), Worksystems Inc. and the Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County is one of only three grants awarded nationally that cover more than one state.

“By continuing to work closely with our Portland-based partners, we are able to bring valuable resources into our community,” said SWWDC Chief Executive Officer Jeanne Bennett, in a press release. “In this case, manufacturing and IT companies will benefit from a skilled-up workforce and local residents will meet the demand for local jobs. Ideally, this will lead to business growth and more jobs in Southwest Washington.”

The three-year grant will provide needs and skills assessments, job placement services, coaching, work-based training and short-term intensive skills training for individuals in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. Participants may also receive financial counseling, child-care support, health care and other supporter services to help them focus on finding a job.

Businesses looking for employees can contact Darcy Hoffman at the Vancouver WorkSource office at 360.735.5038 or Tina Cruz at the Kelso WorkSource office at 360.578.4254 for no-cost assistance writing job descriptions, posting job openings and screening candidates.