The California Employment Development Department announced that it has awarded a $989,853 grant to help retrain at least 185 workers recently laid off from food processing plants in San Joaquin County. The grant will help the former employees of Dole Packaged Foods LLC, Diamond Foods, Inc., and Meadowbrook Meat Company find new employment in local, growing occupations such as truck drivers, office clerks, industrial truck and tractor operators, laborers, and packers.

“These workers were affected by industry changes, and it’s important that they receive the training and services necessary to get back into the local workforce,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning. “This grant will help them gain new job skills to move into new careers in growing industries.”

The San Joaquin County Employment and Economic Development Department, through its WorkNet Employment Centers, will use the grant to provide a variety of employment and training services, including classroom and on-the-job training in administrative, truck driving and construction-related fields – all growing industries in the region.

Funding for the program comes from the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and is under the administrative authority of the EDD and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

For more information, or to become a participating employer, contact WorkNet of San Joaquin County at (888) 512-9675.