Benefits fairs planned for laid-off workers in Eastern Kentucky

bestep@herald-leader.comAugust 23, 2012 

An Eastern Kentucky employment program has scheduled two benefits fairs to help more than 2,000 people laid off from coal mines and factories in the region this year.

The events will provide people an opportunity to get help with unemployment insurance, learn about mortgage and tax assistance, and get information on training for new careers and other services, according to a news release from the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program.

The benefits fairs are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.

The employment program covers 23 Eastern Kentucky counties. More than 2,200 people have been laid off in the region this year, said Bridget Back, who works for the employment program.

Most have been miners, but factory closings in Perry and Knox counties also hurt.

The unemployment rate in the 23-county area was 11.9 percent in June, well above the state level, according to the news release. And that June rate didn't include hundreds of mining layoffs announced that month.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655. Twitter: @billestep1

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