Sunnyvale: Employment nonprofit gets $5.3 million federal grant

By Eric Kurhi  October 15, 2014
San Jose Mercury News

SUNNYVALE -- As part of $170 million in federal grants aimed at getting people back to work after the
recession, Sunnyvale-based NOVA Workforce and Development will get $5.3 million to help assist Silicon
Valley job seekers.

The White House announced the grants Wednesday as part of the Ready to Work Partnership, which is
aimed at reducing the number of people who have been out of work for some time but seek employment.

"The long-term unemployed face significant artificial barriers to getting hired simply because they've been
unemployed for a long period," said National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients. "It's a vicious cycle.
They're less likely to be offered a job even with the same qualifications as another applicant, and that's
plain wrong."

Zients said that since December, the number of long-term unemployed Americans who have been out of
work for more than six months has fallen by 900,000, from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent of the population. But
he said more needs to be done and the grants aim to do that by supporting collaboration between
employers, nonprofits and federal job-training programs.

According to its website, NOVA offers "one-stop career transition services."

"We work closely with local businesses, educators, and job seekers to ensure that our programs provide
opportunities that build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to address the workforce needs of
Silicon Valley," the site states.

In addition to NOVA, San Francisco-based Jewish Vocational Services -- which also does work in
Alameda and Contra Costa counties -- received $6.4 million. The remaining grants were spread among 20
other states and Puerto Rico.

"This is one of the most unfinished pieces left over from the Recession," said U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas
Perez said of the long-term unemployed. "We'll continue grant-making, and we are confident that we will be
able to help them punch their ticket into the middle class again."