Clovis News

Valley gets $3 million for job classes

A federal grant of nearly $3 million is on its way to State Center Community College District to help train people for jobs in the health-care field.

The district, which includes Fresno City College, Reedley College and college centers in north Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Oakhurst, is one of 41 organizations nationwide to receive a share of about $125 million from the U.S. Department of Labor's Community-Based Job Training Grant program.

The grant -- just $87 shy of $3 million -- was announced Tuesday.

Of five California programs receiving a combined $16 million in funds, the State Center district is the only one in the Central Valley. The others are Jewish Vocational Service in Los Angeles, Peralta Community College District in Oakland, San Mateo County Human Services Agency and Santa Monica College.

The grants are intended to help train people in high-unemployment areas for new jobs in high-demand fields including clean energy, information technology and health care. Grants were directed to specific subjects based on the application.

The Labor Department said grant recipients should receive the funds by mid-July and that students could be receiving training by the time the fall college semester begins in August.

The unemployment rate in Fresno County was 15.9% in May (the most recently reported numbers), well above the state and national jobless rates.

This year marks the fifth and final round of grants from the Community-Based Job Training Program, and the first time that State Center has received funds from the program.