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Free chemistry course available

Options have become available for displaced CSX employees in Unicoi County.
The Alliance for Business & Training (AB&T), working in conjunction with Northeast State Community College (NESCC), will offer a free chemistry course in 2016, which will allow individuals to qualify for potential job openings around the region.
“After CSX’s decision to reduce traffic, we had around 25 workers come by the office and say they would be interested in a course like this,” Kathy Pierce, executive director with the Northeast Tennessee Workforce Development Board, told The Erwin Record on Tuesday, Dec. 22. “Well-paying employers in the area consider hiring candidates with a year of college chemistry.”
Funds have been implemented by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce to allow the classes to be available to the public. The class will begin Jan. 19, but the AB&T must have a list of applicants no later than Jan. 8. Interested individuals must go through the American Job Center, located on 1413 North Main Avenue in Erwin, to qualify for the classes.
NESCC must have at least 10 individuals to offer the three-semester class. Pierce added that the opportunity is open to the public in Unicoi County, but CSX employees will receive priority.
“This is open to the public, but CSX employees will receive priority,” Pierce said about the classes, which will be taught at Unicoi County High School. “We need people to come by the center in Erwin to begin the paperwork to qualify for the class.”
Pierce said that the Northeast Tennessee Workforce Development Board recently voted to appropriate funds for traveling expenses for employees who have accepted positions within CSX at other locations across the nation.
“Workers have this option, but they need to stop by the center to get the assistance,” Pierce added.
Pierce also said that the state has funds available for the center in Erwin to be moved to a larger location at a later date to assist with job training, workshops and other items for members of the community looking for employment.
For more information about the classes or other options available by AB&T, contact the Ccenter in Erwin at 735-5773. Pierce added that she is also available to answer questions via email at [email protected] or at 547-7500.
“I was a displaced worker once,” Pierce said. “I know how it is for people who are coming off the final 60 days of services provided by their former employees. We want to offer these options to the public.”
Pierce said the center will be able to keep assisting individuals in the area, but that the public needs to show the interest in the facility. If the interest grows, future funding from the state could provide for other opportunities.