Verdugo Jobs Center using grant to help find jobs for people with disabilities

The Verdugo Jobs Center will be using a roughly $521,000-federal grant to help find jobs for people with disabilities.

With the protracted recession, more people with disabilities have expressed they want to find a job, but some have difficulties if employers believe they can't work as well as others, officials say. The Verdugo Jobs Center, which serves Glendale, Burbank and La Cañada Flintridge, plans to use the money to recruit people with disabilities looking for work and employers who want to hire them.

"A lot of the job seekers are extremely motivated. If given the chance they will put in 100% effort," said Don Nakamoto, a labor force analyst for the Verdugo Jobs Center.

Plus, employers who hire people with disabilities could get tax credits and other benefits, Nakamoto added.

The jobs may be entry level, but they will span many industries, including technology, Nakamoto said.

The center received a state grant - equal to about half of the federal grant - for job referral resources to people with disabilities over the past few years, but the federal money replaces that with the more hands-on program, Nakamoto said.

The total $871,000-grant is spread out over three years.

The City Council approved a $350,000-chunk of the grant - funded by the U.S. Department of Labor - last year, and signed off on the rest of it this week.

-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Twitter: @brittanylevine

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