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Columbus State hopes to help displaced retail workers

(FILE - WSYX/WTTE)

Columbus State announced plans to help retail workers amidst layoffs.

Columbus State Community College said they mobilized a Retail Rapid Response Team. They said more than a dozen experts from across the college have been meeting regularly to find ways to assist hundreds of retail workers faced with unemployment.

“Its mission,” said President David Harrison, “is to plan assistance programs so these workers have options to quickly retrain - or retool - for new careers, especially in high-demand fields.”

The college said they will provide $500 scholarships to eligible unemployed or soon-to-be unemployed workers from the retail industry. They said scholarships are renewable for as many as four terms when applied to credit-based training or classes. For non-credit training or classes, a one-time $500 scholarship is available.

Columbus State noted in recent months, retail companies such as Macy’s, The Limited, HH Greg and The Andersons have all announced sweeping layoffs for 2017. Additionally they said, Ohio-based The Andersons plans to shut down all four of its retail outlets this spring.

“We want to be accessible and meet the needs of these displaced workers,” says Stacia Edwards, Dean of the Columbus State Delaware Campus. “Using our regional learning centers, we hope to make it easy and convenient for them to retrain so they can reconnect with employment.”

Columbus State’s research shows an estimated one thousand central Ohio retail workers will be impacted by layoffs this year, similar to the national trend. The college said the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported retail was the only major industry in the month of February to show significant layoffs.

We want to be able to quickly assist displaced retail workers,” says Rebecca Butler, Vice President of Student Enrollment. “These scholarships and career assistance will allow motivated workers to prepare a near-seamless transition from a retail position into a high-demand field where there’s growth and job openings. Potential fields of study include Logistics, Supply Chain Management, State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNA) Real Estate and a number of skilled trades.”

Columbus State said they will have counselors from Admissions, Advising and other areas available to work directly with the prospective new students.

More information can be found here on their webpage.

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