WELLSBURG — The Brooke County Commission was updated Tuesday on programs to help people find work.
Christine Smith, program manager for the Northern Panhandle Workforce Development Board, said the organization was able to provide training and employment to around 60 people across the Northern Panhandle who were directly or indirectly affected by the abuse. of opioids.
Smith noted that Rosemary Guida, the council’s executive director, had secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help about 21 people, but due to greater than expected interest, Guida was ultimately able to secure $1.1 million. dollars for the program.
She said that although he provided training to help individuals find various jobs, many of the participants remained in the workplaces where they had been temporarily assigned.
“It turned out to be a second chance for them” said Smith, who added that the NPWDB plans to reapply for the federal grant to continue it for another year.
The commissioners offered to provide letters of support.
Smith said another NPWDB program is the Individual Training Account, which provides up to $11,000 over a two-year period to low-to-moderate income Northern Panhandle residents to receive training in multiple areas.
The most popular is the training needed to get a commercial driver’s license, she said, but there are also programs for metalwork, electrical work, firefighting and hairdressing, among other areas.
Smith added that 25 young people in the six counties of the Northern Panhandle have been assigned to 12 temporary work camps under the summer aid program.
She said that number is about half the usual turnout, possibly because young people are filling positions at restaurants and other businesses that have reported a shortage of workers in recent months.
County Commissioner Tim Ennis said he was one of about 30 young people who worked in local schools while participating in the program years ago.
Anyone interested in these programs and other services offered by the WDB can call (304) 232-6280 or (304) 723-5337 or visit www.npworkforcewv.org for more information.
In other matters, commissioners reflected on the recent visit by members of the Free and Accepted Freemasons to lay a ceremonial cornerstone for the Brooke County Judicial Annex under construction.
Commission Chairman AJ Thomas said the group also opened up a cornerstone exposed by the recent removal of the steps from Wellsburg City Hall.
Crews replaced deteriorated steps and extended a handicap-accessible ramp up to the building.
Thomas said the contents of the metal box inside the stone had been damaged by several floods in the city since the construction of the current city hall in 1940.
But he said daily newspapers and other items unrelated to the Masonic Lodge will be donated to the Brooke County Museum and Cultural Center.
The commissioners also named Virginia Smith to the museum’s board and announced that its next meeting will be at 2 p.m. on August 3, as they will attend a training session by the office of the state auditor in Wheeling during their regular meeting time on Tuesday.