Assistance came to western Kentucky for dislocated workers today from Commissioner Laura E. Owens, Department for Workforce Investment, Kentucky Education Cabinet, in the form of a check for up to $5,339,387.
Presented to representatives of the West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, these federal funds are for the Mayfield-Graves County Workforce Transition Center (WTC), a new temporary one-stop in Mayfield, for the more than 800 dislocated workers directly associated with the Continental Tire North America Inc. closure, and for other dislocated workers in the community affected by layoffs.
In a news conference today at the WTC, the newest one-stop in the West Kentucky Career Center System, Commissioner Owens said, “It’s the community and locals that are making things happen. We’re going to work very hard together to make sure that hard times don’t hit the people and that hard times don’t hit economic development of western Kentucky. This money is going to open doors. We want to help the people of western Kentucky and western Kentuckians want to help themselves.”
John Staten Jr. of Benton, a dislocated worker assisted at the WTC said, “I was laid off from Continental Tire December 2003. Though it has been a major adjustment financially, our children have adapted well. God shuts one door and opens another. I just put it into His hands and He has taken care of us. This program has given me time to concentrate on my schoolwork and I have a smile on my face again. I am nothing but grins. With my determination and through the help of this program, I will eventually provide a comparable living for my family when I graduate,” he concluded. Staten is a student in the culinary arts program at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Dislocated worker Larry Don Crocket of Fulton is now a student at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, in the LPN program. Crocket said, “When I graduate in one year, my salary will be close to what I was making with Dura Automotive. My new career will have more security and room for advancement. When I graduate, I would like to work in the nearest healthcare facility in Fulton.”
With these funds, dislocated workers at the WTC will receive assistance with unemployment insurance and reemployment services, including: retraining, job search, relocation allowances, job referrals, employment counseling, resume writing, interview skills workshops, career assessment, job development and on-the-job training.
Funding comes from two sources within the U.S. Department of Labor. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Additional Assistance Rapid Response and Trade funds are to be distributed through June 30, 2006, and based on local needs. Trade funds of up to $1,809,000 will be distributed through the Office of Employment and Training Field Services. WIA Additional Assistance Rapid Response funds of up to $3,530,387 will be distributed through the WKWIB. Both funding streams come through the Office of Employment and Training, Department for Workforce Investment, Education Cabinet.
For more information about dislocated worker assistance, contact Alice Johnson at the Mayfield-Graves County Workforce Transition Center, (270) 247-2300.
The Kentucky Education Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. Workforce Investment Act Additional Assistance Rapid Response Funds and Trade Adjustment Assistance Funds are administered through the Department for Workforce Investment, Office of Employment and Training. These 100% federal funds are allocated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration http://www.doleta.gov as authorized under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. For more information about our programs, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov or www.workforce.ky.gov or call (502) 564-6606.