LCI Snags $75K To Improve Job Skills For Local Workers

Lee County’s manufacturers will soon have a more skilled and better trained workforce, thanks to a new $75,000 grant awarded to Lee County Industries (LCI).

The NC Rural Economic Development Center (Rural Center) selected LCI as recipient and administrator of the New Generation Careers grant to provide career training and on-the-job experience to young adults who have a barrier to employment. Twelve other communities in the state were also chosen.

“LCI is proud to have been chosen to administer this grant and will do our very best to meet the needs of Lee County,” said LCI executive director Meg Moss.

The Rural Center’s mission is to develop, promote, and implement economic strategies to improve the quality of life for rural North Carolinians. Putting a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes, the center’s goal is to equip rural leaders to succeed in today’s business climate.

“This grant will help us train and place local young people in manufacturing jobs across the county,” Moss explained. “We are extremely excited about this opportunity to support business and economic development here at home.”

How it will work: LCI will provide manufacturing skills coursework, career readiness training, social media instruction, interview instruction, job placement and/or paid work experience, and case management for 60 young adults ages 18-30 in Lee, Chatham, Moore, and Harnett counties. Each participant must have a barrier to employment.

The “barriers to employment” requirement doesn’t mean the participant must have a disability, Moss noted. Other examples of employment barriers include being a single parent, having been in foster care at any point in life, no or poor work history, having been laid off, or simply having a low income.

Statewide, the New Generation Careers grant is expected to serve 700 young adults and place 500 in jobs or apprenticeships. Locally, LCI’s initiative will train 60 young adults and place 30 in jobs.

To apply for the program, young adults must submit a full application form and proof of a barrier to employment. Applications are available at LCI, located at 2711 Tramway Road in Sanford, and the Division of Employment Security, located at 1909 Lee Avenue in Sanford. Completed applications must be received at LCI by September 25, 2012. Selected candidates will be notified by phone and will begin coursework on October 15, 2012.

This grant solidifies LCI as a leader in providing support and training for Lee County’s manufacturing industry. Last year, LCI teamed up with Tyson Foods to offer a 15-week internship program that led to gainful, trained employment for eight local workers with disabilities.

For more information on LCI’s training opportunities or to find out how LCI can work with your business to increase skilled employment and decrease turnover, contact Moss at 919-775-3439 ext 209 or Shirley Rijkse, Director of Special Projects and Careers, at 919-775-3439 ext 208.

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