Thursday, April 2, 2009

Portland Metro Workforce Investment Board Plans for Stimulus Dollars

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. On Friday, March 27, 2009, we were notified that Worksystems, Inc. will receive $7,843,001 in Recovery Act resources to help promote the region's economic recovery and assist those most impacted by the recession acquire the skills they need to get back to work. The funding available to the region is as follows: $1,466,715 for adults, $3,001,413 for dislocated workers, and $3,374,873 for youth.

While the details are still unfolding, we are committed to fulfilling our role to implement the Act as expeditiously and effectively as possible. We believe these resources present an extraordinary and unique opportunity to advance the transformational efforts underway within the public workforce development system and to improve the development and capacity of the regional system to support individual and business prosperity.

Recognizing that detailed guidance is forthcoming, we are considering the following projects for ARRA funding:
  • Build a Pipeline of Qualified Workers for Green Collar and Healthcare Jobs. Provide job seekers (low income, barriered, under-employed adults and laid-off workers) with career guidance, career planning, career exposure, skill development and tuition scholarships for occupational training to inform and prepare for middle skills green collar and healthcare jobs that are in demand and pay a living wage.

  • Retrain and Reemploy Increased Numbers of Laid-Off Workers. Target job training, re-training, career guidance, tuition scholarships and skill upgrades for workers laid off from jobs in the manufacturing, construction, high tech and finance sectors to transition them into occupations in healthcare, renewable energy, clean tech, bioscience and green building.

  • Expand WorkSource Portland Metro Tuition Scholarships. Increase the number of tuition scholarships for unemployed adults and low income youth to access post-secondary training required to qualify for high demand, middle skills, family wage occupations.

  • Expand Services at WorkSource Access Centers. Expand services available to individuals served by WorkSource Portland Metro Access Centers through on-site delivery of skill development and employment services by mobile teams of WorkSource staff.

  • Expand Access to Adult Basic Skills and Computer Literacy Services. Expand the number of adults who access tutoring and basic, foundational literacy skill development in a self-paced, open entry environment at all WorkSource Portland Metro Centers and Access Centers.

  • Expand Support Services for Trainees. Expand support services for individuals in occupational training to assist them with the costs of child care, transportation, and other basic needs to make it possible for them to successfully complete training.

  • Provide Paid Summer Jobs for Youth. Significantly increase the number of low income youth who will be paid to work in summer internships, receive tutoring/credit recovery and visit college campuses and businesses to explore college and career options.

  • Enhance Support for Post-Secondary Transition and Persistence. Provide campus-based guidance and support to increased numbers of low income youth so they can make a successful transition to and persist in post-secondary education and training.

How are other Workforce Investment Boards planning to use their stimulus money?

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