Federal Funds Helping Veterans Find Work


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Federal funds are now in place to help veterans find work.

The Idaho Department of Labor is one of eleven entities nationwide to receive federal funding to help veterans.

"We're targeting veterans who are in school or planning to go to school," said Johnny Moreno, Veterans Representative, Idaho Department of Labor.

The U.S. Department of Labor gave the state $750, 000 to train veterans for jobs in high–demand industries.

"Occupations like energy, environment, healthcare, information technology and transportation,” said Moreno.

Southern Idaho veterans will have access to 85,000 of the grant.

The labor department is hoping to couple the grant with the Workforce Investment Act to stretch the funds.

"The Veterans Workforce Investment Program would pay the books and tuition and then maybe the WIA program would pay supporting funds, gas vouchers things like that, babysitting,” said Moreno.

The most recent unemployment numbers are encouraging.

The Magic Valley is at 6.1 percent , a number we haven't seen since the early days of the recession.

"We have some skill gaps out there, so the Vet grant will fill in with that training," Jan Roeser, Department of Labor, Twin Falls.

Regional economist Jan Roeser believes the veterans program will drive that number lower.

"Those vets when they return sometimes they have occupations when they were in the military that just don't fit into civilian life and so, it's really hard for them to transition back," said Roeser.

The funds would be used to help those eligible to receive a diploma or certificate, and find employment in their field of study.

The labor department is hoping to help about twenty local veterans over the next three years.

Veterans are urged to stop by the Bellevue, Twin Falls or Burley Department of Labor for more information.

So far only three people have applied.

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