The funds may be used to return to school or to receive job training.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Nearly $1 million is available to retrain dislocated workers in Trumbull County.
On Wednesday, county commissioners accepted a $486,508 National Emergency Grant to assist dislocated steel workers and $500,000 in state Dislocated Worker Discretionary money to help other dislocated workers including those who lost their jobs because of the closure of Phar-Mor and Tamco.
The funds are to be used for retraining, on-the-job training and training assistance.
"The good thing is it allows us to have more funds, and the bad thing is there's no shortage of dislocated workers," said Thomas M. Mahoney, director of Trumbull County Department of Job and Family Services.
Mahoney said he pursued the grants after commissioners pledged last April at a rally of area steel workers to help however they could.
How to apply
Applications to receive the money are available at the job and family services office, South Park Avenue, and at the Trumbull County Employment Services One-Stop office, North Park Avenue.
"I would encourage all applicants to come as early as possible," Mahoney said. "It's on a first-come, first-served basis."
The director said the office tries to limit to $8,000 to $10,000 the amount awarded per person to try to aid the most people. Last year, the department assisted 276 displaced workers, 235 of which had been in the manufacturing industry.
Dislocated workers may use the money to go back to school, for training in skilled trades or for other retraining programs. Mahoney said the department's performance standard calls for workers to be placed in positions where they earn at least 80 percent of what they were making in the job they lost.
"It's a challenge because we're losing union jobs here and people don't get union scale," he said. "It's killing our standard of living, I think."
Mahoney said the department aims to help dislocated workers get jobs locally, but that isn't always possible. Sometimes a worker must relocate, he said.
One career area the department tries to steer people into is the health-care industry. A health-care summit is set for Oct. 8 at the Holiday Inn MetroPlex in Liberty.
"It's a growing field," Mahoney said.
The money isn't restricted to Trumbull residents, but the department has a reciprocal agreement with Mahoning County and urges dislocated workers living in Mahoning County to pursue job retraining funds through the Mahoning-Columbiana Training Association, Mahoney said.