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Hirono announces $11.5M to train Hawaii’s unemployed


Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) has announced the awarding of $11,594,576 in U.S. Department of Labor grant funding to provide counseling and training to Hawaii’s unemployed, as well as continue the effort to match island companies with workers who have the necessary skill sets.

The federal funding will be distributed through the U.S Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

The $11,594,576 represents a $2.2 million boost from last year.

“Getting people back to work is our nation’s top priority. This 3 million dollar increase in funding for Hawaii will help the various county governments to do just that. The financial support goes directly to the frontlines by providing training, counseling, and job placement for those seeking work,” Hirono said. “This grant award, in conjunction with the Recovery Act, is part of our comprehensive effort to create more jobs.”

A minimum of 85 percent of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding will be allocated to the four county governments. The balance of the WIA funding will be used to pay for the administration of the program as well as support the Workforce Development Council, Hawaii’s statewide advisory body.

The following is a breakdown of the $11,594,576 in grant funding:

* $2,690,193 for WIA Youth Activities – This funding is used to target aspiring workers, ages 14 to 20, by introducing them to the workplace, providing mentoring, career shadowing, internships, basic education and other programs. These programs have a strong focus on Hawaii’s education system by working to help high school dropouts return to class.

* $2,786,714 for WIA Adult Activities – This funding targets low-income adults by providing career counseling services, assessments of skills, retraining, and other services to enhance their transition to employment.

* $3,268,124 for Dislocated Workers – This funding assists laid-off, long-term unemployed workers in their efforts to secure new jobs. It also provides assistance to those who cannot return to their chosen occupations due to the elimination of industry jobs, such as Hawaii’s sugar plantations.

* $2,525,177 for Wagner-Peyser Employment Services – This job-matching program enhances workers efforts to reach out to prospective employers. It utilizes, among other things, an internet job-matching bulletin board, free of charge:

* $324,368 for Workforce Information – This grant funding is used to support the research division of the State Department of Labor. This division provides constant, up-to-date jobs related data and statistics, such as the current unemployment rate in Hawaii.

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