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Stimulus money awarded
West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board gets funds

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

By AMANDA BUCK - Bulletin Staff Writer

The West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board has received an additional $274,598 in stimulus funds to help dislocated workers in Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties, and Martinsville and Danville.

Out of the $274,598, Martinsville-Henry County was awarded $80,073 and Patrick County $20,018, according to a news release.

The funds were awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to Kim Adkins, WPWIB executive director, the money will be used to help dislocated workers through the Virginia Workforce Centers at Patrick Henry Mall in Martinsville and at 108 Blue Ridge St. in Stuart.

"A dislocated worker is someone who has lost a job at no fault of his or her own," Adkins said.

Funding will be used for staff-assisted job searches; tuition assistance; supportive service, such as expenses for travel to and from education and training classes; uniforms; books; fees and child care, the release said.

The WPWIB expects to be able to assist nearly 80 more dislocated workers with the funding, Adkins said.

In February 2009, the WPWIB received about $2.5 million in stimulus funds for its adult disabled worker and youth program. Of that, nearly $660,000 went to the dislocated worker program, Adkins said.

A total of 182 people are being assisted using that stimulus money, Adkins said. The WPWIB budgets spending about $3,500 per dislocated worker, she said.

To qualify for the funds, a person must be older than 18, a legal citizen or legally documented to work in the United States, and, if male, must be registered with the Selective Service, Adkins said. For more information about receiving help, call the workforce centers at 656-2352 in Martinsville or 694-6542 in Stuart.

The WPWIB funds and monitors the region's five Virginia Workforce Centers and numerous employment services and training programs for employers, job-seekers and the youth.


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