PDT Staff Writer
Workforce Investment Act funds will soon be available in Scioto County through the recently enacted American Investment Recovery. The funds, amounting to $1.2 million, will be administered through Scioto County Community Action Organization (CAO) Workforce Connections.
Steve Sturgill, operations director for Workforce Connections, said the available stimulus funds would go to summer youth activities, occupational training funds and job placement services for economically disadvantaged adults and dislocated workers in Scioto County.
“CAO will operate a Summer Youth Employment program this summer for the first time in several years. It will provide work experience jobs for approximately 250 eligible Scioto County youths ages 14-24. Other summer activities will include the continuation of our High School Summer School Make-up Program, done in partnership with all of our local school districts,” Sturgill said.
Bob Walton, executive director of CAO of Scioto County, said the program will provide a minimum of six-weeks of paid summer work experience for youths.
“(We provide opportunities in) virtually all the public school systems. Township trustees usually have some slots. I don’t think we’ve heard any requests yet from the city of Portsmouth, although that’s been a traditional placement. Some of the county departments, and this year there’s a move by the governor’s office to place some of the older youths, between 18 and 24, with Ohio Department of Natural Resources,” Walton said.
Youths placed in these opportunities will do simple tasks such as cleaning, painting or grounds work. They will be paid the state minimum wage.
Funding through the WIA also benefits the CAO Summer Food Program, which provided more than 15,000 lunches throughout Scioto County lunches.
Walton said the organization has lost approximately 41 percent of its workforce allocations since 2001, which has greatly reduced, or totally eliminated, its ability to provide summer work programs for youths, or provide occupational training tuition assistance for adult and dislocated worker community.
“Over the last few years we have experienced waiting lists for those needing occupational training and these new funds will allow us to reduce and possibly eliminate that waiting list,” Walton said.
Anyone interested in applying for the Workforce Connections services should contact CAO at (740) 354-7541.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail email@example.com.