The Delaware County Workforce Development Board is looking for contractors to help with workforce development – or in the world of COVID-19, workforce redevelopment –  for residents under age 25 who have been displaced.

County spokesperson Adrienne Marofsky said the effort, organized to help the thousands of Delaware County’s young adult residents laid off amid the pandemic’s massive economic downturn, is now looking for contractors to run several job training camps planned for teens and adults.

“The board is seeking high-performing organizations to offer workforce development and consulting services to prepare Delaware County residents for post-COVID-19 employment,” Marofsky said in a statement.

The county estimates over 14,000 residents were laid off or lost their jobs or businesses in the pandemic thus far, and this effort is focused on getting those youngest workers back into jobs in high-demand industries.

With plans to hire a contractor for a regional study on the impact of the pandemic on Delaware County’s young adults, this workforce development effort is also focused on getting numbers on how many young county workers were impacted and recommendations on how to reconnect those young displaced workers to schools or work.

Planned services include youth programming for 16-24-year-olds to prepare for life outside of school, including occupational skills training for in-demand fields and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Financial literacy and leadership skills will also be offered to these young adults to help them build successful futures in work and life.

Another component of working with the younger population will be visiting high schools in the county to provide career awareness training.

Delaware County is also looking for a “one-stop operator” who will work with both the Delaware County Workforce Development Board and Delaware County CareerLinks to oversee services for job-seekers and employers.

Interested contractors can find out more and submit bids for the work at www.delcoworks.org/rfp.

To find out more about free job development programs, visit www.pa.careerlink.pa.org.

Those in danger of losing housing from the months – and for some a full year – with little or no work, may have an option available through the county as well. Delaware County announced the Delco Emergency Rental Assistance (DELCO ERA) grant program.

Grants are available to those who need help for financial obligations incurred after April 1, who have experienced hardship due to COVID-19.

To find out more, call DELCO ERA at 484-729-4200 or [email protected]