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New training made available for long-term unemployed workers

More than 1,100 long-term unemployed Washingtonians will receive training and support to help them land jobs in high-demand fields through a new $6 million National Emergency Grant, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Employment Security Department announced late last week.

The new two-year grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor, adds to the $4 million in federal funds recently allocated to address long-term unemployment in the state. Together, some 2,400 Washingtonians are expected to return to work through these initiatives. 

“Thousands of smart, motivated Washington workers are still struggling to find jobs during this period of slow recovery,” said Inslee. “We’ve got employers in need of skilled workers and skilled workers in need of jobs – this grant helps us link the two and get people back to work.”

Washington was one of 32 states to receive the job-driven national emergency grant. Employment Security will distribute the funds to 12 workforce development councils throughout the state, including here in Yakima County. The councils will deliver services to the long-term unemployed through its WorkSource career centers. 

Services offered will include intensive job-readiness workshops and counseling, on-the-job training and apprenticeships, customized training and support for attaining credentials and certificates in high-demand industries. 

In addition, in each community, workforce development councils will partner with local employment and training providers to recruit and organize employers and coordinate worker participation.

Targeted industries for employment are health care, manufacturing, transportation, clean technology, renewable energy, warehousing, construction, finance and insurance, logistics and life science. 

Eligible participants must be unemployed for 27 weeks or more, be targeted as likely to exhaust their unemployment benefits or be a foreign-trained worker having difficulty finding work in their field.

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