KCTCS Extends Career Transitions Initiative Offered At Gateway To Assist Displaced Workers

Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) President Michael B. McCall announced today he will extend the valuable KCTCS Career Transitions initiative. The initiative provides Kentuckians who have lost their jobs with workforce training to help them find work in high-growth, high-wage fields.

This program is one of the ways we work to increase access to postsecondary education for everyone, but particularly those who need to acquire new skills to adapt to a changing economy, said G. Edward Hughes, president/CEO of Gateway Community and Technical College. Gateway is a member college of KCTCS. Workforce development and workforce readiness are a big part of the reason we exist.

The KCTCS initiative began in March and will now be extended through the 2010 spring term. It is being offered through the KCTCS statewide system of 16 colleges and features a 50 percent tuition scholarship for up to six credit hours per term in open enrollment courses. It also provides each displaced Kentucky worker with personalized assistance to help navigate the college admissions process.

Gateway has enrolled 38 students under the program since it began. The college provides each student with a streamlined admissions process; assistance in filing for state and federal financial aid; and advising and training sessions to maximize the students opportunity for successful re-employment. Kentucky residents who have become unemployed and who have filed for unemployment benefits since Oct. 1, 2008, are eligible for the program.

Kentuckys seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 11.2 percent in October 2009, up from 10.9 percent in September 2009, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The October 2009 jobless rate is 4.3 percentage points higher than the 6.9 percent rate in October 2008.

Gateway is working with local Workforce Investment Boards and other agencies to inform dislocated workers of the education resources that are available and to coordinate their efforts. Additionally, each college has developed specific workforce training programs to meet the specific needs of their local community.

For more information about the program, prospective participants may contact the Gateway Career Transition Coordinator: Andre Washington at 859-442-4176 or
andre.washington@kctcs.edu