IAM News

New Program Helps Unemployed Workers Go Back to School

Fri. May 22, 2009

If you’re out of work and want to go back to school – you can. President Obama announced that unemployed workers can receive special government help to further their education and training. He has directed the U.S. Department of Education to relax the rules for unemployed workers seeking to return to school.

Beginning in July, the maximum Federal Pell Grant will be increased to $5,350, allowing community colleges, colleges, universities, trade and technical schools to increase their financial aid packets.

The initiative is directed at all unemployed persons. And, unlike in the past, those currently receiving unemployment benefits will not have to give them up – they can continue to receive their benefits while in school.

“Our unemployment insurance system should no longer be a safety net, but a steppingstone to a new future,” said President Obama. “It should offer folks educational opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have, and give them the measurable and differentiated skills they need to not just get through these hard times, but to get ahead when the economy comes back.”

Like the IAM’s call for more education and skills development, President Obama is asking every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.

For more information on this and other available education and training opportunities for the unemployed, visit www.opportunity.gov.