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Williamson Health and Wellness Center located on Second Avenue in downtown Williamson, W.Va.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced an award of $29 million to 27 grant recipients through the Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) program, in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA).

Williamson Health and Wellness Center was one of 14 recipients of an ARC Grant as they were awarded an amount of $1,352,129. They were one of only two organizations in West Virginia that received a grant.

“We want to focus on growing quality jobs to keep everyone on a good path,” said David Jewell, chief financial officer at Williamson Health & Wellness Center. “This means supporting more healthcare jobs in addition to other industries. We have several business partnerships in place through the new Department of Labor workforce development opportunity, and we’d like to see the employer relationships and other partnerships grow.”

The DOL WORC grant will support workforce training for over 400 people, including new entrants to the workforce and folks succeeding in addiction recovery. Williamson Health & Wellness Center will launch six On-The-Job Training programs with local employers to serve culinary, hospitality, flooring installation, custom cabinetry, agricultural and aquaponics.

WORC grants enable communities within the Appalachian and Delta regions that have been hard-hit by economic transition, and recovering slowly to develop local and regional workforce development solutions that align with economic development strategies.

On April 29, ETA, ARC and DRA announced the availability of these funds, the second round of grants the agencies have offered. In 2019, the agencies partnered to award $29 million in WORC grants to 18 organizations.

The Employment and Training Administration administers federal government job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com