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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [03/19/2010]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-0342-SAN

US Department of Labor announces $8.2 million grant to assist workers in central California

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an $8,197,664 Regional Economic Impact National Emergency Grant to assist dislocated workers in California's San Joaquin Valley. This region is comprised of Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne counties.

"Today's funding will help workers in this important region of the Golden State receive the training they need to find good jobs in promising industries," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The grant will assist both workers who have been laid off and those facing dislocations in the near future."

This grant will provide the California Central Valley Workforce Collaborative with the flexibility to serve workers affected by projected layoffs occurring within this region during the grant's 12-month period of performance. An estimated 1,439 workers in central California will be served through this grant.

The grant will be operated by the Fresno Workforce Investment Board, Kern/Inyo/Mono Workforce Investment Board, Kings County Job Training Office, Madera County Workforce Investment Board, Merced Workforce Investment Board, Mother Lode Workforce Investment Board, San Joaquin Workforce Investment Board, Stanislaus County Alliance Worknet and Tulare County Workforce Investment Board.

The grant will focus on providing training and transition services to workers impacted by a three-year drought and widespread layoffs resulting from the economic downturn. Funding will help workers prepare for careers in growing areas of the regional economy including agribusiness, renewable energy, supply chain logistics, health care and advanced manufacturing.

"As I have said many times, the entire country is hurting right now — but the San Joaquin Valley is hurting worse," said Rep. Dennis Cardoza, who represents California's 18th District, of the announcement. "I am glad to see these funds directed to an area that has been hardest hit by the recession. While it appears that this money will bring assistance to our county and others, we need to ensure we continue working on the issues of job growth and retention. I will continue to do all I can to keep a spotlight on our region and its significant economic challenges."

Of the $8,197,664 announced today, $4,762,120 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the grantee demonstrates a continued need for assistance. The amount released today will be funded by resources made available for National Emergency Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.