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Oakland groups get job-training $$$

The U.S. Department of Labor will provide $150,000 in grants to three Oakland groups as part of a $3.8 million commitment to faith-based and community organizations helping hard-to-serve populations prepare for and succeed in finding work, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, announced today.

“These programs are helping people who are most in need of employment to get the skills and assistance that they need to find and keep a job,” Lee said in her news release. “We all have a stake in making sure that everyone, and especially people in vulnerable communities, has access to employment opportunities. These grants for these programs are helping us to do that and should be seen as an important investment in the health of our community.”

Two new grantees, the Centro Legal de la Raza and Computer Applications Training Schools, will get $60,000 apiece, while Pivotal Point Youth Services, Inc., a previous grantee, will get $30,000.

The Labor Department says projects receiving these awards serve welfare recipients, high-school dropouts, ex-offenders, and others who facing challenges in finding work. Grantees will provide career counseling, life-coaching, mentoring, links to their local One-Stop Career Center, and other services designed to prepare people to enter the workforce. Out of 348 applicants, 59 new awardees were chosen to receive funding of up to $60,000 each, and 14 previous recipients successfully competed to expand their work with grants of $30,000 each. Grassroots faith-based and community organizations with annual social services budgets under $500,000 were eligible to apply.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.