Watts, CA–The Department of Housing & Urban Development also known as HUD, revealed that $3 million will go into developing a job center for Nickerson Gardens residents. U.S Secretary of HUD, Ben Carson, traveled to Watts today where he shared the news with residents of the Nickerson Gardens, located in Watts, California.
The Los Angeles Times reports,
“The grant to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles is part of HUD’s Jobs Plus Initiative Program, which prepares and trains public housing residents for employment and places them in jobs. The program, which started in 2005, has proved successful in dozens of other housing projects, which are among the poorest communities in the country.”
The Nickerson Gardens job center will be made possible by a $10.6-million round of grant funding for the Jobs Plus program.
Other cities who were also grant recipients for job centers include Stockon, Gainesville, Fla., and Toledo, Ohio.
The job center will help residents gain access to employment that will not compromise the amount they pay in rent. Carson relayed at the Nickerson Garden basketball courts, that many people who recieve assistance such as public housing, are often deterred from increasing their financial or even marital status to avoid rent hikes.
“We want to give people ladders of opportunity to climb so public assistance doesn’t become the end goal,” said Carson during his brief appearance on the basketball court and gym at Nickerson Gardens (L.A Times).”
Residents are looking forward to the center in an area that has people to employ, but not a lot of employers willing to employ those with backgrounds.
Sectors of employment the job center will focus on for residents will include healthcare, construction and union jobs at LAX and the new NFL stadium.