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Commission Receives Update From Workforce

December 19, 2018

Rosemary Guida from the Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board addressed the commission at its regular Tuesday, Dec. 11 with an update. The first report included the budget for this year. The year starts in July 1, and the board just received its budget in early November. The board took a cut of $139,455. Guida stated that the budget is still manageable, and the board will still be able to serve everyone. However, if additional funds are needed - which is something that has happened on several occasions, the state has set aside money to be used.

The next report Guida provided pertained to the summer youth program. She stated there was great response from Wetzel County. Guida noted that sometimes there are kids who want to work, but no worksites available in the county they request. She said this is never the case in Wetzel County.

In addition to the summer youth program, there are also "fall works," "winter works," and "spring works." Winter works begins in January, and Guida advised that if the county needs any workers to let her know. She will then contact Youth Service Systems. This program pays for six weeks and provides four different work experiences, one for each season.

The ages for the program is 14-24, but focus is on out-of-school kids, ages 18-24, because of the new funding source. A new law states the program must serve 80 percent out-of-school youth. Plus, older kids can use more equipment than their younger counterparts. Guida said an exact start date has not been established.

Guida then provided a youth program activity report. She stated there was great participation, and Wetzel County Schools is a wonderful partner. Right now, in the year-long programs, there are 27 kids from Wetzel County out of 120 kids total.

Guida said she wished more kids took advantage of the Individual Training Account program, which pays to go to back to school. The youth participants receive two years of free tuition, books, and supplies with a maximum of $9,500 for a two-year period. Participants may attend any location, as long as it it is a high-demand training study; however they do have to obtain their own housing. Participants can attend a community college or four-year college. The program even has participants in Florida for motorcycle repair training. The program is income based; however, if the youth has a disability, income does not matter.

Guida then gave a report for Workforce's Rapid Response program. This program helps folks affected by layoffs or closures. The program was needed twice this past quarter, in Marshall County. Services were provided to 32 individuals, and those services included finding other jobs or training for new occupations.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of the Dec. 19 Wetzel Chronicle at your local newsstand.



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