Mercyhurst pledges educational support to union members affected by GE layoffs

Gamble

Mercyhurst University is pledging its support and assistance to the 950 union workers and their families affected by the pending layoffs announced by GE Transportation.

In response to this difficult announcement, Mercyhurst will make available significant financial aid to help union members and their families pursue a variety of educational options. Formal letters outlining those options are being mailed today to Scott Duke, president of Local 506 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, as well as the Regional Center for Workforce Excellence, the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership and the Manufacturer and Business Association.

“We join the Erie community in empathizing with all those affected by the layoffs,” said Mercyhurst President Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D. “The Mercyhurst mission has always been to make education accessible and affordable to those who need it most. In this case, we want to do whatever we can to offer viable alternatives to those individuals who stand to lose their livelihoods.”

First, union members who qualify for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) or Training Readjustment Act (TAA) funds will be able to attend any approved programs offered through the university’s McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies at little or no expense to them. Mercyhurst will help members secure all government funds for which they may qualify, and then award Mercyhurst grants to help cover the balance of any remaining amount due. Members who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree will receive a significant reduction in their tuition charges.

Secondly, children of union members whose college plans are jeopardized by this layoff will be eligible for additional grants and scholarships. 

For more information about this initiative, contact Travis Lindahl, associate vice president for enrollment, at 814-725-6217 or by e-mail at tlindahl@mercyhurst.edu

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