Schiff Secures Funding for Local Initiatives to Help Put People to Work

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Schiff Secures Funding for Local Initiatives to Help Put People to Work

Funding for local infrastructure project and job assistance centers passes House

Washington, D.C. –Today, Rep. Schiff announced the House passed the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (H.R. 1105) which sets funding levels for the 2009 federal budget.  The bill works in conjunction with the economic recovery package, making investments that address the country’s immediate needs while investing in our long-term economic growth. 

The bill included vital funding secured by Rep. Schiff for local projects that help train workers and create jobs in our neighborhoods.  Rep. Schiff helped secure more than $1.8 million for a major railroad improvement and safety upgrade project underway in San Gabriel. He also directed more than $98,000 each to the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board and the Valley Economic Center which provide job training and job placement assistance for workers and aid to local small businesses.

“This bill, like the economic recovery package recently signed into law, creates jobs through infrastructure spending and takes important steps to transform our economy,” said Schiff.  “We need to get our economy moving again and this bill is a part of the blueprint for getting America back on track.  I agreed with the President last night when he said, ‘We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.’ This bill will help us meet that goal.” 

H.R. 1105 included $1.8 million in transportation funds for the Alameda Corridor East in San Gabriel, which will help construct a 2-mile railroad trench for trains to travel underneath roadway bridges in the City of San Gabriel.  The current railway has accounted for three crossing collisions, with one motorist killed in 2002.  Pedestrian safety will be improved for students at nearby schools. 

The project will eliminate an estimated 420 hours of vehicle delay each day at four crossings, the busiest of which, San Gabriel Blvd., carries 37,500 vehicles per day.  This project will help improve air quality by cutting hundreds of tons per year of cancer-causing air toxins and greenhouse emissions by eliminating idling cars and trucks at the crossings. 

The project will create 8,964 jobs and is eligible for additional federal funds included in the recovery package.  The Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority has already secured commitments of approximately 70% of the project’s cost in non-Federal funds.
Additionally, funding was included for the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, which provides business assistance, job training and job placement services to residents and businesses in the Burbank, Glendale, and La Canada region. Many of the businesses receiving assistance from the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board are struggling to remain out of debt. The staff of the board conducts outreach, analyzes company needs, and refers the company’s management to resources and services to help companies remain stable. The board focuses on small businesses of 25 employees or less and assists local businesses, employees, and job seekers. 

The Valley Economic Center (VEC) will use the funding to operate its Women’s Business Center (WBC) which provides technical assistance and access to capital to emerging and existing female entrepreneurs at its satellite facility in Glendale. In 2007, the VEC and WBC provided consulting to 672 clients, trained 5,138 clients, created 44 start-ups, and created 44 new jobs.

“This funding will help give local businesses the tools they need to succeed and thrive, and will help strengthen our local economy,” said Schiff.  “The Verdugo Workforce Investment Board and the Valley Economic Center have proven track records in helping small businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”