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Work force board seeks funds for jobs program

Work force board seeks funds for jobs program

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Tazewell, Va. – If getting to work is the problem the workforce investment board wants to offer a solution.

The group has asked Tazewell County for $100,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act, (ARPA), to purchase cars for people who need a way to get to work.  Rachel Patton outlined the group’s plan to the board of supervisors Oct. 5.

Patton told the board just 46 percent of the eligible workforce in southwest Virginia is employed.  “Over 50 percent of the region’s workforce is sitting on the bench.  They are not working and they are not on unemployment.

Who are they and why are they on the bench,’ Patton asked.  She said transportation is a major problem and outlined a plan the agency already uses and said the agency would use the ARPA funds to expand it. The agency has an employee who finds a car suitable to the needs of someone with a job who needs transportation.

“They have to be training or working and have a driver’s license. They also take a financial literacy class. Local banks help them with credit and make the loan with the board backing it. Our agency puts a lien on the title. We have the cars checked out to make sure they are sound.

The recipients are required to make payments and to keep insurance on the car. She said the agency puts money in the budget to help with repairs and provide gas money if it is needed.  Money that is repaid is used to sustain the program.

The board discussed the request later in the evening but took no action. They tabled the matter until the November meeting. The workforce investment board also asked for $100,000 for a youth program and that request will also be considered in November.

[In other action the board:]

*Heard from Captain Randi Ann Davis, director of 911 about plans to upgrade the system.

*Approved an ordinance allowing the building inspectors and E&S officials of Tazewell and Russell Counties to mutually perform inspections at Pure Salmon.

*Appointed Melanie Henry to the courthouse grounds improvement committee.

 *Re-appointed Barry Absher to the social services board.

*Met in closed session to discuss personnel, project good day, project EPC, contract negotiations with Richlands, contract negotiations with the city of Bristol and opiod litigation with no action taken.

*Learned that Project Claw is on budget but behind schedule.

*Agreed to move the November meeting to the 9th at 3 pm and to begin the meeting at the Fairgrounds.

*Adjourned until Nov. 9 at three pm.  

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