Bay area program trains people who have been laid off to find work

Looking for 400 people

TAMPA, Fla. - The latest unemployment numbers show more than 12 million people were without a job in the U.S. last month. So if you've been laid off and are looking for training and work, a Tampa Bay area program may be able to help.

Sheena Blair never thought she'd be spending the last couple weeks job hunting. She recently got laid off and is looking for work in the health field. Blair said, "It's been very hard. I've been filling out applications, at least 10 a week."

Career managers at Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance say Sheena could qualify for the group's Dislocated Worker Program. The service trains people who have been laid off, to find a job.

If you need a license for a particular field, they will help you get one.  They're looking for 400 qualified people. Dayle Greene, a career manager with with Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance, said, "Healthcare! Healthcare! Healthcare! That's good. It training, customer service. Those types of things. Welding. It sort of runs the gambit."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 155,000 jobs were added last month across the country. But, it did not change the unemployment rate, which stayed at 7.8%.

200 people already signed up for the program and career managers urge more people to check it out. Greene said, "Once those people get in the WorkForce Investment Act program, we want them to stay there."

If you qualify, training can be finished in as soon as six months and there are about 90 career opportunities you can chose from.

To apply, e-mail Bridget Skinner at

Walk-ins to meet with a WIA program counselor are also welcome at the WorkForce Tampa One-Stop Career Center, at 9215 N. Florida Avenue, Monday through Wednesdays, 8 am to 4:30 pm.

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