Plan Helps Out of Work Kentuckians with School

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

It's new help for many as the state recognizes a need to assist out-of-work Kentuckians.

A plan announced by Governor Steve Beshear is underway, providing unemployed residents with money to go to school.

Layoffs, cutbacks and shutdowns are hitting many in our area hard.

But the Kentucky Community and Technical College System wants to give those affected a hand with some tuition help and job training that it hopes will send them back into the workforce.

"At my age I really didn't want to go back to another factory," assured Maurita Barton, a non-traditional student at Bowling Green Technical College.

For 34 years, it's all Maurita Barton has known.

"Factory work was good. It paid good. It had good benefits but, we've lost so much," she said.

Recently laid off from Scottsville's A.O. Smith, it's at Bowling Green Technical College Barton finds herself these days.

"I just wanted to go back and further my education," she said.

Barton is one of many money from KCTCS would help.

It's money helping bring those the economy has put down, back up.

"They have families to support and bills to pay--children to put through school and things like that," explained Jamie Parke, transitions coordinator at Bowling Green Technical College.

Students who qualify would be eligible for help on their tuition, about three free credit hours per term.

And those at Bowling Green Technical College say they're there to help make the transition as seamless as they can.

"A lot of people who lost their jobs are unfamiliar with the college setting and getting back into school after sometimes 10, 20, 30 years in the work force and they find themselves in a whole new position," Parke said.

It's a whole new position Maurita Barton is in, who's counting those precious minutes until she makes her way back into the work force again.

"It's going to be good and it's all going to be well worth it when it's over," Barton said.

Kentucky's unemployment rate in January of this year was at a 22-year high of 8.7%.

For more information about the KCTCS benefits and contacts for getting started at Bowling Green Technical College, click here.

E-mail Jamie Parke here.


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