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BCTC joins community colleges to provide training and scholarships for displaced workers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 24, 2009) Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) President Michael B. McCall announced today a KCTCS Career Transitions initiative designed to provide Kentuckians who have lost their jobs with workforce training in high-growth, high-wage fields.

The KCTCS Career Transitions program is part of a workforce competitiveness initiative we have launched to enhance Kentuckys capacity to meet current and future job needs, said Dr. McCall. As the primary provider of workforce training and education in Kentucky, we are working to ensure that our programs and services align with both current and future needs of business and industry.

The KCTCS year-long initiative is being offered through its statewide system of 16 colleges, including Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). The initiative offers a 50 percent tuition scholarship for up to six credit hours per term (spring, summer and fall) in open enrollment courses along with personalized assistance in navigating the college admissions process. Each KCTCS college will provide displaced Kentucky workers with a coordinator to acclimate them to the campus and its resources. The colleges will also provide: a streamlined admissions process; assistance in filing for state and federal financial aid; and advising and training sessions that maximize the students opportunity for success and re-employment. Kentucky residents who have become unemployed and have filed for unemployment benefits since Oct. 1, 2008 are eligible for the program.

Shelley J. Evans started taking nursing classes at BCTC about a year after she lost her job in 2005.

School seemed to be a good place to heal some wounds and find a new direction, Evans said. She graduated last May with an associates degree in nursing and passed nursing board examinations last August.

The changes in my life have been hard, but very rewarding. The career I have chosen will continue to allow me to take care of my calling to care for others and will also serve to further my education each year.

The Career Transition program at BCTC offers training in certified nurse aid, HVAC, welding, medical information technology and construction

All offerings will be reviewed and tailored to the community in which its offered to ensure the workers are transitioned into a career with both short term opportunities and career pathways to higher skilled, critical need jobs, said Mark Manuel, vice president of corporate and community education at BCTC.

Kentuckys seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for January 2009 climbed to a 22-year high of 8.7 percent from December 2008s revised 7.6 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The January rate was the highest in Kentucky since the 8.9 percent jobless rate recorded in March 1987. The Office of Employment and Training also recently released county unemployment rates. Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Fayette County and neighboring counties with BCTC campuses: Fayette County at 6.3; Anderson County at 9 percent; Boyle County at 9.7 percent, and Clark County at 9.5 percent.
For more information on the program, please contact our Career Transition Coordinator:

Mark Manuel
BCTC Vice President of Corporate and Community Development
(859) 246-6673
Email: mark.manuel@kctcs.edu