Local jobless program to re-train people who are out of work due to pandemic

The City of Orlando and Orange County are working together to re-train people who’ve lost their jobs because of the pandemic and get them hired at essential jobs.

Officials are looking for people in five neighborhoods to take part in the Blueprint 2.0 program.

The City of Orlando already has a Blueprint Job Training program but now $250,000 federal CARES dollars have been earmarked to help 50 people get educational scholarships before the end of the year.

Volunteers are canvassing Parramore, Pine Hills, Holden Heights, Eatonville and Oak Ridge to find participants. 

MORE NEWS: The Salvation Army helps local man get back on his feet during the pandemic

“It is free for anyone that has been impacted by COVID-19 whether it’s job loss or hours that have been decreased or are being furloughed,” said Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill, who represents district five. “We’ve partnered with jobs that are already available that are essential and re-training them to become gainfully employed again so they can care for their family.”

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s latest numbers shows Orange County’s unemployment rate is the third highest in the state at 10.4 percent.

“We realize that many of these jobs aren’t going to come back anytime soon,” Hill said.

She said they are partnering with places like CareerSource to re-train people in 275 vocational skillsets like keyboard assembly and electrical work.

MORE NEWS: FOX 35's Week of Giving: Help those struggling this holiday season

“We’ve partnered with jobs that are already available, that are essential… Anywhere from two weeks to 26 weeks they can make living wages and have a certificate.”

Hill said participants also get a $125 weekly stipend to help with childcare and transportation while they are in training. Participants interested in taking advantage of the Blueprint 2.0 job training program must do so before the end of the year because the CARES dollars must be spent before the end of the year.

MORE NEWS: Man says Salvation Army saved his life as he struggled with addiction

People interested in learning more about the program can reach out to Regina Hill’s office at 407-246-2005 or visit the Central Florida Urban League offices in Parramore or Pine Hills, located at 595 Church Street or 2804 Belco Drive, respectively.

The City of Orlando also offers the Blueprint job training program year-round. Since its launch in October 2019 more than 100 people have graduated from the program.