SWWDC receives $8.45 million to train unemployed


The Southwest Washington/Portland Metro Area will receive nearly $8.5 million to train 850 long-term unemployed individuals and 150 veterans for jobs in manufacturing and information technology.

The grant proposal, a collaboration between the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC), Worksystems, Inc. and the Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County is one of only three grants awarded nationally that cover more than one state. A total of 23 grants were awarded.

“By continuing to work closely with our Portland-based partners, we are able to bring valuable resources into our community,” said SWWDC Chief Executive Officer Jeanne Bennett. “In this case, manufacturing and IT companies will benefit from a skilled-up workforce and local residents will meet the demand for local jobs. Ideally, this will lead to business growth and more jobs in Southwest Washington.”

Southwest Washington will receive $1,890,800 to assist a minimum of 240 residents who have experienced long periods of unemployment.

The three-year grant will provide needs and skills assessments, job placement services, coaching, work-based training (on-the-job training, supported work experience, internships), and short-term intensive skills training for individuals in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. Participants may also receive financial counseling, child-care support, health care and other supporter services to help them focus on finding a job.

The grant is part of $169,771,960 in Ready to Work grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to expedite the employment of Americans struggling with long-term unemployment.

Individuals looking for jobs should contact WorkSource in Clark County at (360) 735-5000 and in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties at (360) 577-2250 to learn about no-cost programs that will help them gain the necessary skills to be competitive in today’s job market.

Businesses looking for employees can contact Darcy Hoffman at the Vancouver WorkSource office at (360) 735-5038 or dhoffman@esd.wa.gov or Tina Cruz at the Kelso WorkSource office at (360) 578-4254 or tcruz@esd.wa.gov for no-cost assistance writing job descriptions, posting job openings and screening candidates.