The Town of Huntington’s latest economic development initiative received $100,000 in grants for new job training programs in 2016.
The money will go toward helping disadvantaged and displaced workers return to the workforce, with two focus tracks for those interested in the hospitality industry and in welding and soldering.
The Huntington Opportunity Resource Center, which uses shared town and county resources, received two $50,000 state grants to conduct the training in partnership with St. Joseph’s College and Suffolk County Community College.
The hospitality sequence will train students in customer service, server skills, interpersonal relations, problem solving and listening skills. It will also offer basic industry-specific finance and computer training.
Suffolk County Community College’s manufacturing training center will run the soldering and welding sequence under an agreement with St. Joseph’s. Successful participants can earn an American Welding Society certification.
“These training programs have the potential to be life-changing,” said Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, who led the town’s effort to establish the Opportunity Center, which opened in 2014.
The term “displaced worker” includes those who have been fired or laid off, and those unlikely to return to the same industry or job. It also includes people who were self-employed but lost work due to the economy, and homemakers who can no longer rely on the income of a second person.
The first grant is dedicated to those types of workers, while the second will go toward training workers dislocated for different reasons, including: former inmates; those with limited English proficiency; the disabled; veterans; and others who require classroom-based occupational education to qualify for jobs.
For more information on the job training programs, call the Opportunity Resource Center at 631-385-2305.