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Resource Center awarded state grant

Thanks to a grant from Gov. Robert Bentley more of the Dallas County youth will have the opportunity to receive the proper education.

Bentley announced Wednesday that Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs awarded a $94,909 grant to the Dallas County Commission to fund a group of local agencies joint program to provide people between the ages of 16 and 21 the chance to earn a GED and start a career. Under the project name Dallas County Workforce Investment Act, several local groups will offer education, job training and other assistance for 40 participants over the course of five months. Participating agencies included the Family Resource Center, Children’s Policy Council, district court, school systems in the county, Special Programming for Achievement Network and the Alabama Career Center.

“I think this is a great opportunity for Dallas County. I just so appreciate the governor allowing us this opportunity,” Family Resource Center Executive Director Donna Long said. “I have a great staff, and we’re just excited about a chance to work with this youth and give them a leg up on some career opportunities and further education.”

Jan Justice, the community liaison for the project, said people eligible for the program are those who are at a strong disadvantage to receive their GED and get a career started.

Some disadvantages mentioned include having literacy and numeracy skills below high school level, being pregnant or parenting, being a foster child, being a runaway and more.

“We know that there are so many individuals in Selma-Dallas County that fall into this category of being disadvantaged,” Justice said. “They need some extra assistance. They have fallen through the cracks.”

Bentley said the program would help the youth change their life for the better.

“Young people who lack basic education and job-skills training face serious barriers to employment,” Bentley said. “Through this program, participants can attain the education and skills they need to turn their lives around and become self-supporting citizens.”

For more information about the program, call the Family Resource Center at 874-7785.