Stimulus package offers education aid for laid-off workers - News, Weather & Sports

Stimulus package offers education aid for laid-off workers

Posted: Updated:

By Shayla Reaves - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - People who lost their jobs are getting some relief and federal stimulus money is the reason why. $3 million is headed to Kentucky to pay for job training for laid-off workers.

"Gives some real hope to these individuals for future chances for them and for their families," said Mayor Jerry Abramson at a Friday morning press conference.

"Today's workers will account for two-thirds of the work force in 2020, but that same year, three-quarters of workers are expected to work in jobs that don't yet exist," said Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY 3rd). "Yesterday's skills will not suffice in tomorrow's economy in America."

The scholarships are provided through KentuckianaWorks and the goal is to help more than 400 laid-off workers complete an associate, certificate or bachelor's degree program. For two years, qualified applicants can receive up to $4,000 for tuition and up to $600 for books and supplies at the school of their choice.

"The key thing from KentuckianaWorks perspective is it's got to be in a field that we think there's going to be job growth so that we can ultimately help them get a job when they get out," said Michael Gritton, the organization's executive director.

Kimberly Kappesser applied for a KentuckianaWorks scholarship after she lost her job of 9 years as an office manager due to company cut backs.

"It took at least a week for it to sink in that this had actually happened," said Kappesser, who worked for a landscaping company. "I'm sure many people unfortunately can relate to on this."

The goal of the scholarships is to help more than 400 people like Kimberly upgrade their skills to get ahead.

"They say things happen for a reason you know," Kappesser said of the job loss. "I needed to be into something that I felt was more rewarding to me, which I'm going hopefully for education."

Kappesser plans to complete her Bachelor's Degree in Workforce Leadership at the University of Louisville.

To find out of you qualify for a KentuckianaWorks scholarship, visit your nearest KentuckianaWorks One-Stop Career Center or call toll free at 1-877-639-7559 (1-877-NEW-SKLZ) to find out more.

(Copyright 2009 WAVE-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)