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Employment programs receive federal stimulus money

Employment programs for low-income adults and dislocated workers in Clallam County will get an extra $386,000 next month because of the federal stimulus program.

Dislocated worker programs in Clallam County will receive $249,000 and low-income adult programs will receive $137,000.

The money is part of $1.2 million in stimulus funding that was awarded earlier this month to the Olympic Workforce Development Council, which serves Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties.

"It's for workers who have been laid off or been through a plant closure. It's also for adults who are low income or on public assistance, to help get them into the labor market or advance in their entry level jobs," said Bob Potter, planner from the Kitsap County Department of Personnel.

"It's additional funding for what we do normally. Now we'll be able to serve more people," he said.

Potter said the Kitsap County commissioners will sign the paperwork for the money on May 11. Then state officials will sign it and the money should be available by the end of May, he said.

Kitsap County serves as the lead agency for the three-county group.

Earlier this month, the state received $27 million in federal stimulus money to provide training opportunities, financial assistance and employment services to low-income adults and dislocated workers.

Training services for low-income adults range from basic education to training programs, including on-the-job training, classroom education, occupational skills training, private-sector training programs, entrepreneurship training, job-readiness training, a combination of workplace training and classroom instruction, and customized training.

Eligible participants include people receiving public assistance, low-income veterans and their spouses, low-income foster families, homeless individuals and other families who meet the income criteria. Dislocated workers qualify for skill assessments and an array of personalized employment and training services.

A dislocated worker is someone who is unemployed or has received a layoff notice and is unlikely to return to his previous occupation or industry.

Clallam County also will receive another $31,000 in addition to the $285,000 awarded this month to fund youth employment and training programs.

That money was part of a $23 million federal grant to pay for summer employment and training programs for at-risk youths and young adults.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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