Sen. Cannella Helps Secure Almost $1.5 Million in Grants from the California Employment Development Department for Merced and Madera Counties

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) has helped secure almost $1.5 million in grants from the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The EDD announced yesterday it has awarded the Merced County Workforce Investment Board a $950,000 grant and the Madera County Workforce Investment Board an emergency grant of $500,000 – both to help retrain and return laid-off workers to the workforce.

“With a higher than average unemployment rate throughout the Central Valley, these business closures and lay-offs hit our communities – and ultimately, our economies – extremely hard; and when I contacted the EDD to request their support, they were nothing but helpful,” said Cannella. “I am pleased that Merced and Madera counties were awarded these grants as it will provide almost 1,500 individuals who lost their jobs at no fault of their own the resources needed to get back to work and find stable employment.”

Last July, Cannella contacted the California Employment Development Department (EDD) seeking support and assistance to the more than 280 workers in Merced County who faced unemployment due to lay-offs. In October, more than 1,000 people lost their jobs when Chukchansi Gold Casino and Resort in Coarsegold closed its doors.

“I am very impressed with Senator Cannella’s commitment to his district. When it was apparent these individuals would lose their jobs, Sen. Cannella immediately reached out to me and asked what we could do to help,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning, Jr. “These grants will provide needed employment resources, such as retraining, résumé writing classes, interview preparation, and job-search services, that will help them secure new jobs as quickly as possible.”

The Merced and Madera Workforce Investment Boards will use the funding to collaborate with America’s Job Center of California, local adult schools and training providers, Merced Community College and county offices of education. Through a combination of on-the-job and direct vocational training and career assessments, these organizations will prepare laid-off workers to seek employment in top industry sectors located throughout the Central Valley, including transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing, agri-business, renewable/alternative energy, tourism/hospitality, and healthcare.

Funding for the program is drawn from the Governor’s 25 Percent portion of Dislocated Worker Funds from Title I of the federal Workforce Investment Act and is under the administrative authority of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s EDD.

For more information about this project, please contact the Merced County Workforce Investment Board at (209) 724-2000 or the Madera County Workforce Investment Board at (559) 662-4500.