SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board announced that a $1.5 million Workforce Investment Act, Multi-Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant has been expanded to include laid-off census workers. This grant has nearly 200 spaces available to fill by the close of June 30, 2012. Census workers who were laid off between September 21, 2010, and September 27, 2011 are eligible to apply at one of San Bernardino County's Employment Resource Centers.

"This grant will pay for laid-off workers to participate in On-the-Job Training, paid work experience, internships and customized training programs," said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board and Director of Workforce Development. "It also provides support services for participants such as tools and transportation, depending upon their needs."

In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau hired nearly 700,000 workers. These were all short term assignments and all were completed by September 2010.

The San Bernardino County Business Resource Team is also recruiting employers to hire through this grant and receive reimbursement for the wages of new employees paid through On-the-Job Training contracts.

"The census jobs, though temporary positions, were a lifeline for many of our residents seeking employment during tough, recessionary times," said Josie Gonzales, Chair and County of San Bernardino Fifth District Supervisor. "Now, through this grant expansion another lifeline has been cast, linking former census workers with services and training to secure more permanent careers in one of our region's in-demand industries."

The California Multi-Sector Workforce Partnership was formed to address 123 mass layoffs in California that affected 32,527 workers in 19 industries statewide. The partnership expects 5,887 California residents to receive free training paid for by this grant.

The purpose of this partnership is to provide a collaborative response to the retrain and transition dislocated workers. It also aims to help employers in vital economic sectors with employee development.

Employers or job seekers with questions should call (800) 451-JOBS (5627) or visit one of the County's three Employment Resource Centers located in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga and Hesperia. Information is also available at .

About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County:

The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors. The WIB strives to strengthen the skills of the County's workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing County resources to generate jobs and investment.

The Workforce Investment Board, through the County of San Bernardino's Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino's Employment Resource Centers (ERCs) and Business Resource Centers (BRCs). The ERCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The BRCs support and provide services to the County's businesses including employee recruitment.

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