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Federal Funds to Train the Jobless Are Drying Up
09 Apr 2012 EDT - The New York Times
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With the economy slowly reviving, an executive from Atlas Van Lines recently visited Louisville, Ky., with good news: the company wanted to hire more than 100 truck drivers ahead of the summer moving season.

But a usually reliable source of workers, the local government-financed job center, could offer little help, because the federal money that local officials had designated to help train drivers was already exhausted. Without the government assistance, many of the people who would be interested in applying for the driving jobs could not afford the $4,000 classes to obtain commercial driver’s licenses. Now Atlas is struggling to find eligible drivers.

Across the country, work force centers that assist the unemployed are being asked to do more with less as federal funds dwindle for job training and related services.

In Seattle, for example, the region’s seven centers provided training for less than 5 percent of the 120,000 people who came in last year seeking to burnish their skills. And in Dallas, officials say they have annual funds left to support only 43 people in training programs, nowhere near enough to help the 23,500 people who have lost their jobs in the last 10 weeks alone.

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