California Governor Schwarzenegger Announces $6 Million In Grants To Help California’s Veterans Find New Jobs


Sacramento, CA  (CompNewsNetwork) - Continuing his commitment to California's Brave servicemen and women, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced more than $6 million in grants to help veterans as they return to the civilian workforce.  More than 1,500 newly discharged veterans will receive help finding jobs in high-growth occupations in California through $6 million in Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds.

"California military veterans deserve nothing less than the full commitment of their state to help them attain good jobs and transition back to civilian life after they have served their country," said Governor Schwarzenegger.  "That's why I have directed my Administration to issue this funding that will help our veterans find jobs in high-growth occupations.  Our veterans are heroes who have risked their lives for America and we must reduce their unacceptably high unemployment rate in our state."

The 12 agencies receiving the grants have committed matching funds of almost $4 million to further expand their job training programs, for a total investment of nearly $10 million.

"These programs will focus primarily on recently discharged veterans, helping them return to civilian life after their sacrifice and service," said Victoria Bradshaw, Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. "We're particularly pleased that local agencies are contributing matching funds so we will be able to maximize job training services to veterans."

In addition to recently separated veterans, veterans who served on active duty in the armed forces during a war or in a campaign and those with service-connected disabilities or having significant barriers to employment and their eligible spouses will receive services.

The grants will focus on identifying military transferable skills and determining career pathways to industries that offer livable wages, benefits and career advancement opportunities.  Veterans can expect to receive a wide variety of training in fields such as health care, emergency medical technology, construction, security, law enforcement, and computer services.

The projects funded will also provide supportive services, placement and follow-up through a case management approach.  These programs are expected to run through December 2009.

Funding for these programs is drawn from the Governor's portion of the federal Workforce Investment Act monies under the administrative authority of the California Employment Development Department.

In further actions to stimulate California's economy, last week the Governor announced $69.5 million in permanent low-interest loans from the Proposition 1C housing bonds and expedited implementation of $211 million in Proposition 1E funds to four critical levee improvement projects. Last month, the Governor called an emergency meeting of his cabinet and instructed them to recommend ways to work with the legislature and speed the release of $29 billion in unallocated funds from the 2006 infrastructure bonds for the construction of roads, schools and levee repairs.  The Governor has also called for the broad use of Performance Based Infrastructure (PBI) and established the Strategic Growth Council to promote economic, sustainable growth and development and meet the state's skilled workforce demands with 20,000 new engineers over the next decade. 

Also last month, Governor Schwarzenegger joined with Pennsylvania Governor Rendell and New York City Mayor Bloomberg to reinvigorate federal investment in the nation's infrastructure by creating the "Building America's Future" coalition.

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