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IVROP's Project SOS gets $5 million grant

June 26, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program's Project Steps of Success received a second $5 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Labor, it was announced Monday.

Carlos Contreras, county Office of Employment Training assistant director, said the money is part of $20 million slated for the county and that the money arrives in payments.

"They give it to you in parts," he said, adding the OET must ensure the money is spent on its intended purposes.

Efrain Silva, Project SOS director, said the money is part of a five-year grant and will be used to provide vocational training, after-school tutoring and recreational opportunities to youths between ages 14 to 21.


"It's pretty broad the level of services we provide," Silva said this morning, adding the money should allow Project SOS to provide for about 1,000 youths this year.

Project SOS uses a system of rewards and services based on positive and healthy choices. Case managers develop close relationships with youths to work on fundamental issues that might otherwise block success.

The project provides many academic, personal, cultural and recreational opportunities that would not otherwise be available to the target group, according to information provided by the Labor Department.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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