By Ted AYALA
Glendale City Council on Tuesday approved a measure that may provide a modest boost for the city’s unemployed.
During the meeting, the city council approved the appropriation of $350,000 from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). The grant funds would be used by the city to provide training for those mired in long-term unemployment. People considered to be long-term unemployed are those that have needed to collect EDD benefits in excess of 22 weeks.
“This is an important issue,” said councilman Rafi Manoukian before the council discussed the measure. “I think the community should know about this.”
Don Nakamoto, Glendale’s administrator of work force development, explained how the grants would be used.
“The intent of the grant is to target the people in the community that are considered long-term unemployed,” he said. “They’re a target for this opportunity. This grant is fairly unique in that it’s coming from the federal government to the state in order to help address the unemployment problem in areas that have been hit pretty hard. The unique thing about this is that this grant is ordinarily for on-the-job training. [The city] can only reimburse 50% to those companies who hire these unemployed people. But with this grant, we can reimburse up to 90% of the wages of the people in this training.”
Job opportunities opening up would be in the field of electronic medical records, which Nakamoto noted as being the next major trend in the health care industry.
“It’s an important industry for the Glendale area,” he added. “Hospitals are the largest industry employer in the area. This an important growing opportunity, especially for the unemployed.”
Forty people are expected to be trained under the program for the time being. But Nakamoto added that his department is in competition for further grants which may add 50 positions to the program.
Interested parties may direct their inquiries to the Verdugo Job Center at (818) 409-0476.