The Wasatch Front Private Industry Council has approved funding for new training programs aimed at helping the economically disadvantaged and others with barriers to getting jobs in Salt Lake and Tooele counties.

One new effort is the Single Parent Economic Independence Demonstration Project in which participants work three- or six-month internships in private industry.Each intern will have a mentor to orient the participant, help develop work and interpersonal skills and provide some contacts that will help in job searching. After the internship, the host company can hire the person if there is an opening.

Susan Sheehan, state program director for SPEID, said the program has potential, but it will take business involvement to be successful. The funding is part of a $500,000 federal grant.

Utah is one of six states to receive a grant that is part of a two-year pilot program to be used as a model for the entire country. Company officials interested in participating can call the council at 468-3100.

The PIC also contracted for on-the-job training opportunities for single heads of households, funded through the Job Training Partnership Act. This service will be provided by Job Service and the Salt Lake Skills Center.

Also, PIC contracted with the skills center to provide assertiveness training and the Utah Opportunities Industrialization Center will teach job-seeking skills and resume preparation.

The Asian Association will teach English as a second language, and the skills center will teach adult basic education.

The council also is paying for other contracts to assist youth and adults in basic educational skills, assertiveness and self-esteem to help them take advantage of future JTPA-funded training programs.