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COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced today that the state will receive more than $12 million in federal grants for job training and employment initiatives designed to help get more Ohioans back to work. One of the grants – for nearly $3 million – will target adults and youth with disabilities. The other two grants – totaling more than $9 million – will help unemployed Ohioans learn the skills they need to find jobs in specialized information technology (IT) and health care fields.

“We often hear from employers who are struggling to find the skilled workers they need,” said ODJFS Director Michael Colbert. “These grants will help close that gap. They will give Ohioans with disabilities and other unemployed workers the education and skills they need to pursue new careers in industries that have tremendous potential for growth.”

Ohio is one of seven states to receive funding for the Disability Employment Initiative, which is run by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy. It is designed to improve education, training and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults who are unemployed, underemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Ohio is one of 20 states and the District of Columbia to receive the other two grants, which are called “H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants.” H-B1 is federal program that allows employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in “specialty occupations” – typically, sciences, medicine, health care and related fields. The H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants are designed to provide education, training and job placement assistance related to high-growth fields in which employers are currently using the H-1B program to hire foreign workers.

ODJFS will receive one of the H-1B grants: $5 million to provide on-the-job training for workers in IT industries. On-the-job training reimburses employers directly for a portion of their cost of training newly hired workers. The other Ohio H-1B grant recipient is Cuyahoga Community College District, which will receive $4.1 million to fund IT and health care training programs for the long-term unemployed.

“These grants are an important part of the administration’s efforts to help ensure that our workers have the chance to succeed in new and emerging fields, and that growing businesses have access to the skilled American workforce they need,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in announcing the awards.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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