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April 11, 2011

Oswego County Using Federal Funding to Help Unemployed Residents

OSWEGO - The Oswego County Legislature recently accepted more than $233,000 in federal funding for the Employment and Training Division of the Oswego County Department of Social Services. This will help people who lost their jobs due to foreign labor competition as well as individuals with disabilities find employment.

"These monies support department programs that assist the residents of Oswego County at no cost to the taxpayer," said Legislator John Proud, District 7, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee. "They are both 100 percent federally funded and provide increased assistance to workforce development."

The New York State Department of Labor awarded the county $151,635 in federal Trade Act funding.

"Trade Act programs are in place to assist individuals who have become unemployed as a result of increased imports or the transfer of production to foreign countries," said Oswego County Department of Social Services Commissioner Frances Lanigan. "The goal is to help these workers resume suitable employment as quickly as possible."

Funding provides employment and training services to dislocated workers impacted by the United States Free Trade Agreements. It will cover the cost of tuition, re-training or other related expenses that help Trade Act-certified individuals obtain new employment.

Oswego County was also awarded $81,427.78 by the New York State Department of Labor to help individuals with disabilities obtain and retain employment through the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI).

"This was a competitive grant that will allow us to continue and expand services at the career center," said Christine Weaver, coordinator of client services and One Stop Center manager of the Employment and Training Division of the Oswego County Department of Social Services. "The DEI provides funding for a pilot program to assist individuals with disabilities as they strive to improve their employment status."

The initiative will help disabled Social Security recipients who might be able to work return to the workforce.

Lanigan said, "To meet the obligations of the grant, a full-time disability resource coordinator is assigned to work with Social Security beneficiaries to develop employment plans. The funding will also be used to cover travel expenses for the coordinator to attend mandatory training and for the equipment and materials needed to serve individuals with disabilities at the One Stop Center."

The coordinator will also educate and train staff on various programs that are available to individuals with disabilities.

The Oswego County Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee oversees the Department of Social Services. In addition to Legislator Proud, the committee includes vice chairman Jacob Mulcahey, District 15; Barbara Brown, District 8; James Karasek, District 22; Margaret Kastler, District 1; Ronald Sakonyi, District 5; and Terry Wilbur, District 21.

The Employment and Training Division of the Oswego County Department of Social Services coordinates and promotes workforce development in Oswego County. Through an integrated network of partners, it provides businesses with labor market data, hiring initiatives and grant writing assistance. It also helps individuals with job searches, the application process, and skills training.

Learn more about workforce development at yourcareerconnection.org or visit the Oswego County Workforce New York One Stop Career Center at the Oswego County Branch Office Building on Route 481 South in Fulton. The full-service facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Disability Resource Coordinator Beth Teifke at 315-591-9026 or TTY 315-591-9091 or by e-mail at .

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