VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Workforce Development Board (WDB) secured multiple programs this year to help residents, both employed and unemployed, during the pandemic.
The board was awarded a $315,000 grant by the State of California Employment Development Department to implement a National Dislocated Worker Grant for those struggling financially this year.
The funding will aid Ventura County's response to COVID-19 by providing opportunities for employment and training services to individuals who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the pandemic as well as those who are unlikely to return to their previous jobs.
Services include training and job placement in in-demand careers, especially those where there is an increased need due to the impact of COVID-19.
The funding will also enable the WDB to provide applicant referrals to local employers, job placement assistance in high-demand sectors, job readiness workshops to build soft skills and help with career planning through individual employment plans and online career workshops.
“As unemployment benefits come to an eventual end, we anticipate a large number of workers in Ventura County will be in need of career services and training in order to get back to work," said Rebecca Evans, WDB executive director. "This program focuses specifically on workers laid off in the wake of the pandemic and provides opportunities for employers who are hiring to benefit from a trained and supported workforce.”
This comes after the WDB was awarded a $450,000 grant in April through the Employment Development Department's Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 25% Dislocated Worker Funds. The board said these funds went to support services that helped individuals impacted by COVID-19, including providing the equipment necessary to work from home and for assistance with housing, utilities, childcare and transportation fees.
In June, the California Workforce Development Board awarded $462,506 to Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties, with Ventura WDB as the lead support of the SB1 High Road Construction Careers initiative. The initiative's purpose is to advance careers in the building and construction trades as a reliable career pathway for disadvantaged Californians.
“With the loss of jobs in retail and other sectors, the High Road Construction Careers initiative is a unique opportunity for workers in Ventura County to enter specialized training programs to build and strengthen skills and learn about a variety of good-paying jobs within the construction industry," says Evans "This program is open for everyone and we are specifically charged with reaching out to women, veterans, individuals who have been involved with the justice system and others who need supportive opportunities to move into successful careers.”
Individuals interested in receiving employment assistance should register with America's Job Center of California by calling 805-204-5186 or emailing AJCC-VenturaCounty@ventura.org. For those with limited hearing or speaking, dial 711 to reach the California Relay Service (CRS). America's Job Center of California offers no-fee employment services and training resources and will guide applicants through the registration process.