Federal Funds Support Unemployment Training - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Federal Funds Support Unemployment Training

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The U.S. Department of Labor announced that 58 million dollars will go to 30 states including Texas. That money will be used to get those on unemployment back to work.

Texas was awarded over 4.4 million dollars in federal funds. But North Texas won't be getting a dime of that money.

30 states will receive funding from the Dislocated Worker Training National Emergency Grant. Texas stands to get the highest amount of them all, at 4.4 million dollars. That money will support on-the-job training, customized training, registered apprenticeships and connecting individuals to employers.

"The problem that we have in Texas is that a lot of jobs are lower wage, lower skilled jobs. So when there are higher wage, higher skill jobs available and we get someone in them, we want to make sure that they have what they need to be able to get that job," said Mona Statser, Executive Director for Workforce Solutions of North Texas.

To be eligible for training there are different income requirements. For people who lost their job through no fault of their own, better known as dislocated workers, they're automatically eligible.

"We want to make sure in the first 10 weeks of their receiving unemployment, that they have every opportunity to find another job," said Statser.

The funds are intended to help those who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, or those that are close to exhausting their unemployment insurance benefits. Statser said, they serve 11 counties and none of them will receive that money.

"We felt like we had enough money to continue doing that, because we were already doing that. So we didn't apply for any of that money or we didn't tell the Texas Workforce Commission that we needed additional money," said Statser.

There are 28 local board areas that were asked by the T.W.C., if they needed extra money. "We have about two-hundred people in our training programs right now. So we feel like we've got staff enough to help them," said Statser.

This area has been fortunate, seeing no recent plant closures or large layoffs. But, the sequestration has contributed to local unemployment rates, as well as military men and women returning home from tours of duty.

Secretary of Labor Seth Harris said in short, the funds will help states deliver critical work-based learning and training, to thousands of unemployed Americans.

Jenyne Donaldson, Newschannel Six.