GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Nearly 300 low-income families in Pitt County could soon be part of a new program to help get them on their feet.
The Department of Social Services is applying for a more than $2.3 million grant to create the Working Family Career Development Initiative.
Right now, Social Services helps about 1,500 children in Pitt County through its child care assistance program. Yet, there’s still nearly 1,000 more children on the waiting list.
The grant would not only allow the department to help more kids, it would also help their parents.
The initiative would offer low-income parents subsidized child care, as long as they’re either employed or in school. Participants will be enrolled in job readiness classes at Pitt Community College to help them develop skills and compete for higher paying jobs.
Social Services Director Jan Elliott says limited funding means they’re usually only able to help kids in child protective services.
“The children that are of working parents would be the next high priority that we have. And so we rarely ever get to the children of parents who are trying to go to school,” Elliott said, adding that Pitt County families are in dire need of a program like this. “In the last 2013 data that we saw, we ranked about 18th in the state with a high poverty level. And so clearly we need to do a lot to develop our workforce.”
The U.S. Department of Labor is currently reviewing grant applications. It only awards 10 grants like this across the country.
Elliott says she should find out soon whether Pitt County receives the money. If successful, Pitt County plans to implement the program by July 1.