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DHR sees effects of job losses

In a year’s time, the Chilton County Department of Human Resources has seen a 500-case increase in the number of food stamp recipients.

Director Marilyn Colson reported approximately 3,100 food stamp cases from Oct. 1, 2008 to date, during which more than $1 million in benefits were distributed within the county.

Meanwhile, the child support program saw more than 1,400 cases and collected $1.5 million.

“Both of those programs are direct economic benefits to the county,” Colson said Wednesday.

Another component of DHR, the Alabama JOBS program, allows recipients of family assistance benefits to train on the job, go back to school or pursue a GED. There are currently 115 clients in Chilton County participating in the program.

A specific part of the JOBS program, called Community Employment, or CEMP, places clients in job training positions at no cost to the business.

“They get on-the-job training for up to four weeks at a for-profit business,” Colson explained. “If it’s a not-for-profit organization, [job placement] can be up to six months.”

Six people are working in CEMP positions locally. An effort is made to match participants with their career interests.

“It’s a way of developing work ethic and getting folks into the job market,” Colson said. “It’s really been a great program. It has been one of the government programs that has really worked.”

For information, contact Shannon Crowe, Rashad Trimble or Colson at 280-2000.