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Local college helps jobless

MAYSVILLE — A northern Kentucky college is helping people caught up in the nation's economic downturn by easing their transition toward a new career after losing their jobs.

Maysville Community and Technical College has formed emergency response teams to work with people in the campus service area who are finding themselves unemployed because of cutbacks and layoffs.

There are also free workshops to help people sharpen résumés and job interview skills or prepare for college.

Participants also get advice on making ends meet and coping with stress in tough times.

"I know it looks bad, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel," said Billie Barbour, director of Enrollment Management-Student Development and head of the emergency response team in Maysville.

The response teams have been contacting area businesses' human resource directors. The teams also have visited workplaces to talk to employees faced with job losses.

Barbour and MCTC Workforce Development liaison Lorrina Blevins recently met with nine people whose jobs are being transferred to Milwaukee. The employees were offered jobs in Milwaukee but elected to stay here.

Barbour told The Ledger Independent in Maysville that teams also went to the Rowan campus to offer help for 150 people at Bath Manufacturing who will be losing their jobs at the end of the month.

"The college has always been very active in the community when people are losing their jobs," Blevins said.

Blevins said that when Jockey International closed its facilities, several employees joined the nursing program seeking new careers. "Ninety women came here. They were some of our best students," Blevins said.

Barbara Campbell, the college's chief officer of community and economic development, said short-term options also are being discussed with the workers. "We want to help people find ways they can be trained quickly and get back into a field," she said.

Despite the economy, the college's enrollment is up 300 students, Campbell said.