Government funding to help more unemployed workers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Government funding to help more unemployed workers

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Finding a job is still a struggle in this economy, but things look a little brighter for an organization helping the unemployed find work in our area. Some new government funding will help local workers get hired.

Washington's Employment Security Department is awarding almost two million dollars to the Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council. That means WorkSource, the local employment center, will be able to help more people find their next job.

WorkSource Columbia Basin aims to help the unemployed bridge the gap in skills they need to get a job and provide resources to get that new job faster. An extra three hundred thousand dollars in government funding this year will help them do that.

"What it will allow us to do is to help more people we're essentially doing the same thing we were doing before. What we can do is essentially shorten the distance between unemployment and employment," says Cos Edwards, CEO of WorkSource Columbia Basin.

Funding is based on population, unemployment rate and length of unemployment.

The Benton-Franklin area is getting half of the extra six hundred thousand dollars allocated to the state this year.

Some of the reasons why are WorkSource is finding many people here need to relocate for jobs and a need to help the nearly two thousand Hanford workers laid-off last year.

"In this particular economy, what we're discovering is that long tern unemployment, and when I say long term that's twenty-seven weeks or more, is now becoming the norm rather than the exception," says Edwards.

Daniel Gill uses WorkSource and says he needs the access to resources WorkSource provides to get a job. .

"We definitely need the help. We definitely need the resources to be able to continue to look for jobs every week," says Gill.

Daniel knows first-hand that government funding for WorkSource can make a difference in helping people find their next job

"I think WorkSource helps us show ourselves as stars, that we're willing to do the job and we can and we're qualified for it. So I believe that's good use of money to help us," says Gill.