Rosemary Guida of the Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board appeared before Wetzel County Commission Dec. 11 with an update on current programs and budget increase in Workforce programs for the program year 2012-2013.
Adult funding awards increased $13,994 to $920,584 for 2012-2013. The dislocated worker funding award increased $49,349 to $321,712, and youth funding awards increased $17,035 to $761,532. The total increase in funding awards was $80,378.
West Virginia was one of eight states that did not get funding cuts.
Guida also provided a rapid response report for the period between July 1 and Oct. 31. Rapid response is described as "a process that provides information and services to employees in the region who experience job loss." Information services were provided to 24 RG Steel Corporation employees on July 15 in Belmont County. Another 105 RG Steel Corporation employees were served in Ohio and Hancock counties on Aug. 15-16. Twenty-three laid off Ormet employees received informational services Sept. 25 and 27 in Monroe County.
Guida also offered a summary of individual training account program activity as of Oct. 31. Those residents enrolled in adult funding programs total 67; those who are enrolled in dislocated worker funding programs total 94, and those in older youth funding programs total seven. As of Oct. 31, 168 people were enrolled or had completed a training program, with zero residents waiting to enroll in a training program.
Guida also gave the Youth Program Report for the July 1-Oct. 31 period. She explained that more members are being sought for both Youth Service Systems, Inc. program as well as the Workforce Individual Training Accounts program. Specifically, the ITA program allows eligible young adults, ages 19-21, to receive a voucher in the amount of $4,750 for a year of school. Participants can receive a voucher in this amount for two years, with a maximum of $9,500. Students can go anywhere they choose for higher education, but they must pick an in-demand career field.
Gas/oil activities are also increasing at the Regional Career Centers. Guida explained that locally, the Washington Career Center will be holding a Gas and Oil Training Workshop at the New Martinsville Center. She also noted that gas and oil handbooks are made available for job seekers at each center.