Youngstown Approves Spending $74,600 in COVID Funds 

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city will utilize COVID-19 assistance funds to create a workforce development consortium. 
The $35,000 contract with Mahoning Valley College Access Program approved by the Board of Control represents nearly half of the $74,600 in spending from city coronavirus funds assigned during the meeting Thursday morning. The purpose of the funding is to create a consortium to increase the capacity of nonprofit organizations that provide workforce development opportunities for low-income residents, according to city documents. 
MVCAP will serve as the coordinator of the program, said Beverly Hosey, Youngstown community development director. 
The funds are coming from supplemental Community Development Block Grant funds provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The COVID-19 funds can be used to address issues that were exacerbated by the pandemic, Hosey said. 
“The goal is to eliminate service duplication and create a comprehensive list of resources for city residents so they can make choices that lead to obtaining a self-sustaining and eventually family-sustaining job,” said Gerri Jenkins, MVCAP executive director. 
“The consortium will consist of local organizations that already do workforce development, Hosey added. 
Partners so far include Flying High Inc., Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Program and United Returning Citizens. 
It also will develop a list of city high school graduates and the paths they took following high school, with a goal of connecting them to any post-secondary resources they need, she said.   
“What we’ve found in the past is that there’s a lot of students that we don’t know what they’re doing after graduation” – perhaps as many as 75% of graduates – “and they fall though the cracks,” she said. The goal isn’t to tell those graduates what they need to be doing, but let them know the different paths available to them, she said.  
“We have a lot of excellent services in the city and people need to know them and people need to know what’s available to them,” Jenkins said.  
During the meeting, the board also approved COVID-19 Business Stabilization Program grants of $10,000 each to Advantage Video and Marketing, H Capital Grill and My Lil Angels Better Care Learning Center. 
In addition, it awarded a pair of grants from the COVID-19 Microenterprise Grant Program. Ryan’s Chair Barber Shop & Beauty Salon received $6,000 and Pamton 3D Printing received $3,600.

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