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Even with billions in government funds rushing toward Chrysler and GM, it's clear that America's automakers aren't going to have the huge employee bases they once had--at least, not for a good long while. To help the thousands of autoworkers who've lost their jobs as a result of the economic meltdown, the federal government has launched a $7 million program to retrain those workers for new careers in other industries.
The money will be targeted to community colleges and other service organizations in hard-stricken areas, which will use the funds to provide career counseling and partial scholarships for unemployed workers. (NB: although former autoworkers are a major target of the project, the feds have indicated that any unemployed person will be eligible to take part in funded community college programs.) When institutions apply to the feds for funds, they'll need to demonstrate the longterm viability of their re-education programs after the federal program monies run out. An official announcement with additional details is expected later today.
Although $7 million seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the vast chunks of change going to the automakers themselves, it's admittedly a start. And hey: at least it'll keep America's teachers employed a little while longer.