SMC — Santa Monica College’s job training classes are about to get a big boost.

A federal grant of a little more than $4.87 million has been awarded to SMC to help train people in the recycling and resource management field.

According to Laurel McQuay-Peninger, SMC’s director of grants, the funds will be used as a “collaborative grant” in partnership with two Orange County community colleges — Irvine Valley College and Golden West College — to develop training curriculum and job placement services. SMC also plans to work with a number of other organizations, including the California Resource Recovery Association, McQuay-Peninger said.

SMC is one of 41 organizations nationwide to be selected from 323 applicants in a competition first announced in March by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Community-Based Job Training Grant program. The Labor Department handed out a total of about $125 million to programs around the country.

Four other California organizations — Jewish Vocational Service in Los Angeles, Peralta Community College District in Oakland, San Mateo County Human Services Agency in Belmont and State Center Community College District in Fresno — also received funds, bringing the state’s combined share of the grants to just over $16.3 million.

The grants, which were announced Tuesday, are intended to help community colleges offer training for employment in high-growth, high-demand industries such as healthcare, information technology and renewable energy.

This is the second time SMC has received funds from the Community-Based Job Training Program. In 2006 the college was awarded a grant to assist in providing training for the nursing and healthcare sciences field, McQuay-Peninger said.

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