A program that will train people to install and test fiber-optic cable, and a job-training course for high school students with disabilities, are two of seven job-training programs to receive money through a new $150,000 job-training grant.
The seven programs were picked from 21 applications. The groups could request up to $25,000 per agency or up to $50,000 if two or more agencies collaborate on a job-training program.
The awarding of the grants was announced at the Urban County Council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting on Tuesday.
Mayor Jim Gray and the Urban County Council set aside $150,000 in the current-year budget to start the job-training program, which is designed to help nonprofit and other agencies augment available job-training funding. This is the first year for the program.
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Gray and some on council have expressed frustrations that federal and state job-training money often falls short of providing the training that workers in Lexington need.
The seven organizations that will receive funding are:
▪ Urban League and Blue Grass Community and Technical College to provide a certified fiber-optic technician course for $37,500.
▪ Jubilee Jobs to provide a two-week employment assistance program that includes interview preparation and résumé preparation for $20,000.
▪ Building Institute of Central Kentucky for classroom, labs and licensing for HVAC, plumbing, electric and carpentry for $20,000.
▪ Opportunity for Work and Learning for forklift certification and customer-service representative skills certification for $20,000.
▪ Hospice of the Bluegrass for tuition scholarships for certified nurse aid or CNA certification and state tests for $20,000.
▪ FoodChain to provide on-the-job training to work at FoodChain’s processing kitchen for $20,000.
▪ Build Inclusion Inc., Easter Seals Cardinal Hill, Down Syndrome Association of Kentucky for job training for high school students and young adults with disabilities to learn job-readiness skills and supported-employment services for $12,500.
The funds should be given to the agencies in the coming months, said Elodie Dickinson, the city’s work-force development manager.
But the money comes with strings. Grantees must track their training and employment outcomes for a year. Quarterly reports must be submitted to the city. The city’s work-force development manager will also make on-site visits. The city can yank funding if the agencies don’t use the money for the job-training program.
“The programs will be tracked from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018,” Dickinson said. “A total of 134 people will be served with this grant. That is the minimum amount, and we expect there will be more.”