Workforce Development Board secures programs to address barriers to employment and the COVID-19 Pandemic’s impact

The Workforce Development Board of Ventura County (WDB) was awarded a $315,000 grant by the State of California Employment Development Department to implement a National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG) to address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the Ventura County workforce.

The funding will aid Ventura County’s response to COVID-19 by providing opportunities for employment and training services to individuals who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the pandemic and who are unlikely to return to work in their previous occupations.  Services include training and job placement in in-demand careers, especially those where there is an increased need due to the impact of COVID-19.

The funding will also enable the WDB to provide applicant referrals to local employers, job placement assistance in high-demand sectors, job readiness workshops to build soft skills, and help with career planning through individual employment plans and online career workshops.

The WDB of Ventura County is a partner of America’s Job Center of California network.  Individuals interested in receiving employment assistance should register with America’s Job Center of California by calling 805-204-5186 or emailing AJCC-VenturaCounty@ventura.org.  For those with limited hearing or speaking, dial 711 to reach the California Relay Service (CRS). America’s Job Center of California offers no-fee employment services and training resources and will guide applicants through the registration process.

Additionally, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, the WDB of Ventura County applied for workplace grants as soon as they became available.  In April, the WDB was awarded a $450,000 grant through the Employment Development Department’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 25% Dislocated Worker Funds. Funds went to support services that helped individuals impacted by COVID-19. These included providing equipment necessary to telework and assistance with housing, utilities, childcare, and transportation.

In June, the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) awarded $462,506 to Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties, with Ventura WDB as the lead support of the SB1 High Road Construction Careers initiative. The initiative’s purpose is to advance careers in the building and construction trades as a reliable career pathway for disadvantaged Californians.

WDB coordinates its response to COVID 19 with the Economic Development Collaborative (EDC), local business organizations, counties, cities, and chambers. For up-to-date business recovery and closure/opening information, go to the EDC website:  https://edcollaborative.com/covid19. For more on the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County, go to http://workforceventuracounty.org.

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