Grant will pay for retraining those who lost jobs due to COVID-19

A grant from Bank of America will be used to help retrain dozens of unemployed East Tampa residents hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and get them back in the workforce.

The Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. (CDC) received $75,000, which it plans to use to conduct rapid retraining sessions in the trades, including road work, pipefitting, electrical, and HVAC, says Ernest M. Coney Jr. CEO for the CDC.

The Pinellas County Urban League received an identical grant.

Both organizations are using the money to expand workforce development programs, which include helping those who go through the training to get job placement.

“We are really excited,” says Coney, noting that the CDC has already received the grant and training will begin the first week of October.

“With everything going on with COVID, we will do short term certifications and training in the construction trades. We have already partnered with a lot of the general contractors who are doing the work. One of the fastest-growing areas over the past few months has been construction trades as work has picked back up.”

People are still able to sign up for the training and there will be 15-20 people accepted for each class. Coney says the classes will be ongoing.

Anyone interested in signing up for a class can visit the CDC site on Facebook or call Kimberly Kitchens with the Workforce Development Center & Tampa Vocational Institute at 813-231-4362, Ext. 3360.

The CDC was issued a special invitation to apply for the grant and was chosen based on its track record in the targeted area, Coney says.

“We have been doing this work for a while and have proven results.”


Read more articles by Yvette C. Hammett.

Yvette C. Hammett, a native Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida, has spent much of her career as a professional journalist covering business, the environment, and local features throughout the Tampa Bay Area. She is an avid camper and outdoors person who has also been involved in local events for foster children and the elderly.
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