On Tuesday, Mother Lode Job Training (MLJT) announced that it has been awarded three grants totaling $885,000 to establish services to support local workers affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Of the total, $150,000 will be used to give financial assistance to individuals who have been laid off or seen reduced hours due to the pandemic. Those eligible can get up to $800 to help with childcare, transportation, housing and utility bills.

“Providing these important basic needs will allow job seekers to focus on quickly finding reemployment,” a press release issued by MLJT states.

Those interested in applying for financial assistance will need to provide certain documents, such as a housing rental agreement, mortgage agreement, car loan or utility bill; rent receipt, car payment or childcare payment (previously paid); driver’s license and social security card or passport; and their last pay stub or unemployment statement.

The rest of the funds – $735,000 – will go towards providing “strategic employment, training and support services to assist workers laid off due to COVID-19, speeding up the process of reemployment and offering relief,” the press release states.

Those services include “referrals to local employers who are hiring, including targeting occupations with increased demand as a result of COVID-19 impact; job readiness workshops to build essential job skills; personal assistance with career planning including an individual employment plan, résumé preparation and interview techniques; support services to assist participant(s) with employment or training related expenses; and training, including on-the-job training, vocational training, and paid work experience,” the press release states.

“Getting back to work in a safe way is a critical part of rebuilding our economy,” MLJT Executive Director Dave Thoeny said in the release. “These grants will help workers and families in the Mother Lode who have been struggling financially due to COVID-19 get back on their feet.”

Funding for the grants was provided by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and is administered through the California Employment Development Department and the California Labor and Workforce Develop-ment Agency.

MLJT expects to assist more than 350 workers through the grant funding.

Those interested in receiving services can contact MLJT by phone at 588-1150, or online at mljt.org. Eligibility criteria can be viewed at mljt.org/covid-eligibility. Those who are eligible can streamline the enrollment process by filling out a pre-application at mljt.org/pre-application.

Since 1983, MLJT has provided free services for eligible job seekers and employers through its job centers in Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties.

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Reporter

Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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