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Parish to seek $1.1M grant to employ young people

Last Modified: Thursday, February 07, 2013 9:43 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

The Calcasieu Parish Workforce Investment Board is applying for up to $1.1 million in federal grant money to provide job opportunities for up to 75 disadvantaged teens and young adults ages 16-24.

Police jurors on Thursday approved a resolution for the board to submit the grant application to the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration for the YouthBuild program. According to a news release from the department, “$75 million in YouthBuild grant funds” became available last month.

Stephanie Seemion, director of the Workforce Investment Board, said the program is available for those aging out of the foster care system, the disabled, high school dropouts, or young people who are facing other hardships.

“The bottom line is to get people employed in this area, (and) this is a good opportunity to do that,” she said.

Police Juror Elizabeth Griffin said the goal is to get people “self-sufficient.”

“That’s a great opportunity and something we need in Calcasieu Parish because we have so many young adults who are in difficult situations out of their control,” she said. “Some just need a jump-start. If we have the resources, they can be an asset to Calcasieu Parish.”

Tarek Polite, director of the parish Human Services Department, said the grant money could provide each person with just over $14,000. The program allows young people to assist in building affordable housing, which he said will be needed because of the anticipated “economic boom coming in the next few years.”

Juanita Poland, WIB planner/grant writer, said that both Habitat for Humanity and the Housing Authority of Lake Charles are looking for carpenters. She said those who qualify for the program will be trained in home construction.

The Department of Labor announced last month that they anticipate “serving more than 5,200 young people through 75 grants, ranging from $700,000 to $1.1 million each.” The grants will be “awarded to organizations that oversee education and employment services for disadvantaged youth in their communities.”

The grant application will be submitted by March 19.


Posted By: Bill Spoon On: 2/13/2013

Title: Silly

What a waste of tax dollars. Jobs are there, young people just have an overinflated view of themselves. Go ask local employers and you will find that we should not be wasting tax money on useless programs but take this money and invest in better infrastructure.

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