Grant targets oil spill job victims
PANAMA CITY — Gulf Coast Workforce Board officials have received a $1.1 million emergency federal grant to provide scholarships to workers who lost their job as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The grant is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, and the funds are expected to cover about 100 scholarships. The idea behind the scholarships is to get trained workers in a field that they will be able to use to obtain a job directly after their program ends.
An applicant must provide documentation that the job loss was a direct result of the oil spill, said Maria Goodwin, director of communications for the Gulf Coast Workforce Board.
“This grant means that people will be able to get trained in target fields and get back to work,” Goodwin said.
If an applicant already is receiving unemployment, that documentation already should be noted in paperwork. Otherwise, a letter from a former employer could be used, Goodwin said.
Apply by calling the Gulf Coast Workforce Center. The process includes talking with representatives about career interests, and there are several target fields applicants will be encouraged to explore, such as health care.
Training is available at Haney Technical Center and Gulf Coast Community College. The scholarships will be based on the individual applicant and the program they attend. The scholarships also may cover related expenses such as books, Goodwin said.
Similar grants were also awarded to workforce board in Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola
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