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Pasadena Workforce Development Board Offers Services, Grants to Help Pandemic-Affected Workers

Published on Monday, October 12, 2020 | 3:00 am
 

As the pandemic stretches into a seventh month, the Pasadena-based Foothill Workforce Development Board continues working overtime to help area residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

In addition to its usual services for job seekers and employers, such as job placement and career training, the FWDB is tasked with administering federal Impacted Individuals Grant reimbursement funds, which provide up to $800 in assistance for eligible workers impacted by the pandemic and its economic fallout.

The FWDB has launched its “Bounce Back Foothill” website to connect workers and employers with available resources, Executive Director Dianne Russell-Carter said.

“The Bounce Back Foothill webpage is designed to provide resources to individuals whose job situations have been impacted by COVID,” she said. Information from both state and local agencies is compiled on the site.

The organization also hosts a podcast called “Hire Ground.”

“[It] provides information about immigration, about workforce development and job search-related information… all the things to help individuals be able to get back into the labor force, to get the skills that they need and the resources that they need for income stability and employment stability,” Russell-Carter said.

“It’s strictly for COVID-impacted individuals,” she said. That could include job loss, reduction in hours, quarantine or other pandemic-induced hardships.

The money comes from federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds, according to the California Employment Development Department.

A total of $10 million in the funds has been allocated by the state for the Impacted Individuals Grant, which is administered by local workforce development boards.

Those who have lost more than 50 percent of their income may be eligible for up to $800 in reimbursements for necessities, ranging from rent to internet service needed to telecommute, officials said. Those still receiving at least 50 percent of their former wages may be eligible for up to $400 in assistance.

The top reimbursement requests have been for rent and internet service, Russell-Carter said. With both students and parents working from home, a reliable internet connection has become vital in recent months, she added.

The entire process can be completed online, officials said.

“These funds are not subject to repayment, and the process for applying is easy and contactless,” according to a statement from Pasadena Vice Mayor Tryon Hampton’s office.

The Foothill Workforce Development Board serves Pasadena, South Pasadena, Arcadia, Duarte, Monrovia, and Sierra Madre.

More information on the organization and its programs is available online at fwdbworks.org/index.php.

The FWDB’s Bounce Back Foothill webpage can be found at fwdbworks.org/bounce-back.

Those interested in applying for the Impacted Individuals Grant were advised to contact FWDB Program Coordinator Sarah Mendoza-Jaime at (626) 584-8383.

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