VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Local organizations have teamed up to help those impacted by the pandemic — that includes the regional workforce council, which wants to get people employed.

It’s called the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership and is made up of the United Way of South Hampton Roads, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, LISC Hampton Roads and the Hampton Roads Workforce Council.

The partnership is funded through the City of Virginia Beach, which approved $8 million for the nonprofits back in the fall.

Avery says his team’s job is to directly help those who may have become unemployed due to the pandemic by helping them get training for high demand jobs.

“We’re working with education partners to roll out programs that help to get them into new careers, back to work, or rise up in current occupations,” he said.

Avery says the fund covers costs and the educational programs are for short-term training and certifications that are needed by employers that have many job openings.

“It’s in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, shipbuilding, ship repair, skilled trades, ports and logistics, hospitality is what we’re focusing on. It’s high demand,” he said. “

Avery says the partnership is expected to last until around June but depends on on the pandemic.

It’s simple and easy to get help. Avery says they’re working with local community colleges, schools such as ECPI and Centura, as well as private institutions, to make sure programs fit people’s needs.

“It’s very important for the individual and our economy in general. For some who have been out of work or may have been furloughed, they may want to get into a new education opportunity or new employment opportunity where they’re not so concerned about if the pandemic will impact them again,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to elevate themselves, get a new career path. For our economy, we need individuals to get back into the workforce again. We have openings. We want our economy to grow. We want to come out of this pandemic on the positive side. We want individuals to slide into those positions. It’s a win-win for the individual and economy in general.”

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