Luzerne County Community College instituted the Employment Retraining Opportunities (ERO) Program during the recession of 2009 to assist those whose employment was affected by the national economic downturn.
The program has served 642 individuals since its inception and the College has experienced an approximate 50% retention rate with students in the program.
The ERO program administered through LCCC serves dislocated workers and unemployed veterans returning to school to help them get started on a new career path. Those who meet program criteria are eligible for up to 12 credits of free tuition for one semester.
According to Susan Spry, vice president for workforce development at LCCC, Northeastern PA has one of the highest unemployment rates in PA and it is predicted that regional unemployment will surge toward nearly 20% before it begins to level off. 'During this time of uncertainty, individuals who have never before been laid off are finding themselves unemployed, some with little chance of recall any time in the near future,' Spry notes. 'As a result, one out of five individuals in our community might be left without work.'
The ERO Program has assisted many individuals who would otherwise not have been able to pursue an education after suffering a job loss.' Spry adds, 'Some students have described the ERO program as a ray of hope in an otherwise devastating situation because it gives them the chance to develop skills and earn credentials that will significantly increase their opportunity for re-employment.'
Funding is available through the LCCC ERO Program for the fall semester. For more information, call 570-740-0480 or go to https://www.luzerne.edu/workforce/empretraining.jsp.