$178,000 Awarded to VWDB to Train People with Autism


image: Aram Ohanis, chair for Glendale Community College's manufacturing department, directs students to the next presentation in the Engineering Design Manuafacturing HUB at an information meeting for a brand new program called the Uniquely Abled Academy at Glendale Community College in this May 5, 2016 photo. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)
Aram Ohanis, chair of Glendale Community College’s manufacturing department, directs students at information meeting for new program:  Uniquely Abled Academy at GCC, May 5, 2016 photo. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

More than $175,000 was awarded to the Verdugo Workforce Development Board to train people with autism to operate computer-numerical-control, or CNC, machines, as well as help people with disabilities learn other workforce skills, the board announced this week.

The State of California Employment Development Department, in coordination with the California Workforce Development Board and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, gave the local board $178,571 to provide the training.

A portion of the funds will help pay for training that is set to begin Monday at Glendale Community College, where 20 adults with autism will learn how to operate CNC machines over 10 weeks, said Judith Velasco, executive director of the development board.

“This is an area of focus for us — to help people with [disabilities]. We invest a lot of our grant funds in this area,” she said.

The training program for adults with autism is called the Uniquely Abled Academy, and it was brought to Glendale Community College after Jan Swinton, the school’s dean of workforce development, met Ivan Rosenburg while the two were serving on the Los Angeles Economic Development Committee.

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