Janesville48.6°

Federal funding will help to train local unemployed

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
March 14, 2009
— Blackhawk Technical College will get $951,000 in federal funding this year to help retrain laid-off workers.

BTC hopes to help about 2,000 workers with the funding, according to a funding request BTC sent to Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis.


Kohl got the funding inserted in the omnibus spending bill that President Obama signed this week.


The money will pay for instructors’ salaries, career and aptitude testing, tuition, books, materials and related enrollment fees, and job-placement services, according to the funding request.


BTC requested more than $15 million over four years, but Kohl apparently was able to deliver only $951,000.


BTC grants coordinator Andy McGrath said BTC could and likely would apply for more funding in the 2010 federal budget.


BTC spokesman Len Walker said the seven full-time instructors envisioned in the request to Kohl probably would not be hired. Instead, BTC will probably hire mostly part-time instructors.


“We really appreciate Sen. Kohl’s efforts on our behalf, and we’re looking everywhere we can for additional forms of support,” Walker said.


Kohl said in a news release that the money would help an area hit hard by layoffs at General Motors, but Walker said the money would help all displaced workers, not just those who lost jobs in GM-related companies.


Kohl is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and he identified this project as his priority for funding, according to his news release.


The city of Janesville issued a news release, saying that the city council thanks Kohl “for his foresight and responsiveness to the needs of the Janesville community …”



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