When Jessica Ruhle, 34, was laid off from a struggling local home builder due to budget cuts, she worried how the loss of income would affect her husband and two children.
After searching for jobs with no success, she turned to the worker retraining program at Everett Community College. The program is helping more than 200 laid-off workers like Jessica learn new skills and return to the workforce.
She applied for and received funding that allowed her to attend EvCC in Winter 2009 and provided textbooks through a book lending program. The worker retraining funds will help cover the cost of college until Jessica’s federal financial aid kicks in.
“It’s all taken care of financially,” Jessica said. “Without worker retraining, I don’t know that I would have been able to go back to school, ever.”
Jessica says she looked for the positive when she was laid off, and found it: “I always wanted to go back to school, and now I can.” With a family and a full-time job, Jessica never before had the time or money.
She is now taking pre-nursing courses and plans to get a nursing certificate at EvCC. Then, she can work almost anywhere in the world, and she can count on a having a job even when the economy takes a downturn.
“Everett Community College is giving me a fresh start,” Jessica said.
Through the worker retraining program, new students on unemployment, those who have exhausted their unemployment within the last two years and displaced homemakers can apply for one quarter of assistance with tuition and lab fees.
To apply, stop by the Worker Retraining Office in Parks Student Union 347 on EvCC’s main campus.