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$12 million will go toward getting you a new career

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $12 million Disaster Dislocated Worker Grant to the Texas Workforce Commission for unemployment help.

AUSTIN, Texas — The latest unemployment numbers show more than 2 million Texans out of work. But the state job board, WorkInTexas.com, shows less than a half-million jobs are available.

There may be a way to stand out.

Texas Workforce Development Boards is divided into 28 regional offices. There, you can get interview training and attend virtual job fairs

As the regional facilities reopen, the state will use labor market data to tailor short-term training for in-demand jobs.

“We provided supply/demand information with those boards, and we've asked them to build or procure some short-term training programs to really build up the workforce in those areas if our labor market data shows we have a shortage,” said Courtney Arbour, Workforce Development division director, in a TWC Commission meeting Tuesday.

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The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $12 million Disaster Dislocated Worker Grant to Texas Workforce Commission for unemployment help.

“Of the 28 Workforce Development Boards, 16 have requested assistance through this DDWG 15 to serve individuals and communities impacted by this pandemic,” supplement material for the May 5, 2020, commission meeting showed.

The Workforce Solutions boards with the larger population — Alamo, Capital Area, Dallas, Tarrant County and Gulf Coast — will get $1,302,401 each.

Rural Capital will receive $638,914.

Borderplex, Middle Rio Grande Valley, East Texas, South Plains each got a little more than $500,000.

Brazos Valley ($265,395), Cameron ($192,903), Coastal Bend ($73,721), Lower Rio Grande Valley ($245,638), Panhandle ($313,313) and Southeast Texas ($385,806) also received money.

Some of that money will go to training in some areas. Most of it will go to immediate jobs in either clean-up and recovery efforts regarding COVID-19 or humanitarian assistance.

“They can work at food banks. They can be paid to drive and provide medication and food to people who are homebound. There's a lot of valuable activity happening,” said Arbour.

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Documents filed for the commissioners to review show other jobs are available.

“DDWG funds provide two types of employment and training services to dislocated workers and other 28 eligible participants including:

Clean up and Recovery efforts specific to this public health emergency may include:

  1. cleaning schools or sanitizing quarantine or treatment areas after their use; and,
  2. preventative measures such as setting up quarantines, cleaning buildings, and other activities that avoid the further spread of the virus.

Humanitarian assistance generally includes actions designed to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity in the immediate aftermath of disasters and may include:

  1. delivering medicine, food, or other supplies to older individuals and other individuals with respiratory conditions and other chronic medical disorders, with appropriate training and precautions;
  2. helping set up quarantine areas and aiding quarantined individuals; and,
  3. organizing and coordinating recovery, quarantine, or other related activities such as the provision of food, clothing, and shelter.

Boards are also encouraged to provide supportive services, career services, and training services, as needed.

Supportive Services – enable individuals to participate in the DWG project activities. As examples these services may include assistance with transportation, assistance with uniforms or other appropriate work attire, personal protective equipment, assistance with training supplies and more.

Career Services – may include outreach, intake, labor exchange services, initial and comprehensive assessments, referrals, provision of labor market information, provision of information on eligible training providers, and provision of information on the availability of supportive services

Training Services – for those grant participants who are unlikely to return to their prior employment. DWG funds may provide employment and training services independently or concurrently with participation in the temporary jobs component.”

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