May 20, 2011

Manchin, Rockefeller, Rahall Say Grants Will Increase Job Skills Training

West Virginia’s Congressional Delegation pushed Department of Labor for state funding

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Jay Rockefeller today joined with Senator Joe Manchin and U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall in announcing that the Department of Labor is awarding more than $1.7 million in grants to two West Virginia agencies to create new job training programs for young people. 

The grants, awarded to the Southern Appalachian Labor School, in Kincaid, and to the West Virginia Housing Authority, in Huntington, will go toward YouthBuild programs designed to provide education and training to out-of-school youth. 

“The YouthBuild program has encouraged thousands of West Virginia youth to earn their diplomas or GEDs,” said Rockefeller. “They also learn job skills, like training in construction trades, to get their life moving in the right direction.”

“Our children, especially those who come from challenging circumstances, need to know that we will help them learn the skills they need to get good jobs,” said Manchin. “We’ve got to do all we can to equip the next generation with the skills and motivation to become productive members of our society. This is so important not only for all of our children, but for the future of the great state of West Virginia.”  

“Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed if they are willing to work for it,” said Rahall.  “This funding will continue an important program that offers West Virginia youth a chance to obtain hands-on training that can lead to future employment while working for the benefit of the community.”

The Labor Department administers the YouthBuild program, awarding grants that have provided occupational training to at-risk youth, including those who have been in the juvenile justice system, aged out of foster care, or who have dropped out of high school. 

In the past, Senator Rockefeller has encouraged federal officials to support these funds. This week, the school was awarded $999,525 for a YouthBuild program, while the Huntington Housing Authority was awarded $704,380.

The Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS), in Fayette County, offers work low-income, rural families. SALS also works as an Appalachian advocacy group, working to highlight issues such as affordable health care, and environmental and economic justice. The Huntington Housing Authority assists low-income families with affordable housing while moving its clients toward self-sufficiency.