Dr. Clifford Coppersmith

DR. CLIFFORD

COPPERSMITH

WYE MILLS — With the announcement of an Employment Recovery Dislocated Workers Grant of $356,900 to the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board (USWIB), Chesapeake College is ready to play a central role in the Eastern Shore’s recovery from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A key tenet of Chesapeake College’s mission is to contribute to the economic health of our region by providing workforce training to fuel local industries,” said Board of Trustees Chair Nash McMahan. ”This is just one way that Chesapeake will help the region recover from the pandemic’s impact.”

Non-essential businesses throughout Maryland were ordered closed in mid-March in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Unemployment claims climbed to record levels, as businesses and individuals struggled with the impact of the pandemic.

The hospitality and retail industries on the Shore have been hit especially hard, with self-employed individuals left without income and worried about what lies ahead.

As the ranks of unemployed Marylanders have grown this spring, the USWIB has been providing support to dislocated workers on the Shore.

With the federal grant through the USWIB, impacted workers in the region will be able to train for new careers or add skills to prepare for economic recovery. Qualified Individuals may be eligible for up to $4,500 to cover the cost of retraining and professional development.

Chesapeake, a regional community college, offers the variety of courses and training opportunities that these dislocated workers will use to move ahead. Programs include health care professions, truck driving and skilled trades.

“We value our partnership with the Workforce Investment Board and we’re proud to help our service area cope with the fallout from COVID-19,” Coppersmith said. “These funds will allow more displaced workers in our region to access our offerings to prepare for the next steps in their careers.”

Coppersmith added that Chesapeake will begin the fall semester with online classes in August, but plans are developing for in-person labs and training components for health care and skilled trades programs.

“This grant gives us the resources to respond to an emergency that brought the largest unemployment numbers we’ve ever seen,” said George Weeks, President of the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board and Human Resources Manager, Maryland Plastics, Inc. “Resources and educational opportunities at Chesapeake will provide dislocated workers with the help they need to recover from economic effects of COVID-19.”

For more information, please email the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board at uswib2020@gmail.com

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