New grant helps Tulare County businesses hire people

VISALIA, California

This federal money is geared towards helping people who were laid off and have been unemployed for at least five months. The grant gives employers money to hire and train them.

Every day the Tulare County Employment Connection in Visalia is home to dozens of people looking for help finding a job. They spend hours getting help with applications, or looking for jobs.

Now, the Employment Connection has new funding to help unemployed people even more.

"The money is to be spent on training costs for new hires -- on the job training contracts basically," said Jarrod McClintick with the Tulare County Employment Connection.

The Tulare County Employment Connection received $284,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to reimburse local businesses 50-percent of the costs to train a new employee. Employees must have been laid off from their previous job and unemployed for at least 21-and-a-half weeks.

McClintick says the money is vital towards helping unemployed people who may not have all the necessary qualifications for a new job. "It's a win-win. The job seeker gets into a position they may not be fully skilled for but the employer also gets the reimbursement."

McClintick says the funding has worked before. The employment connection received funding for the same program in 2010 and helped 53 people get hired. Of those 53, 47 maintained a permanent position at the company. Many of the employers were small businesses in town and most of the jobs are in transportation or logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and agriculture.

Unemployed people like Dave Fulbright were happy to hear about the new funding. "It gets people back to work it keeps the economy going and takes people off of the doles, you know what I mean. I think it's a good thing we can see where our money is going."

Job seekers interested in this new funding can just come into the Employment Center in Visalia or at locations in Porterville, Dinuba and Tulare -- to fill out an application.

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