Monday, December 18, 2000

Program offers women training

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Candice Risch is tired of living off welfare, which is why she is ready to try the long hours and back-breaking tasks that accompany highway construction work.

        Ms. Risch, 35, is enrolling in a 12-week training program coming to Northern Kentucky today.

        The Kentucky River Foot hills Development Council Inc. will sponsor a noon to 1:30 p.m. luncheon for women interested in its Women In Highway Construction program. The free event will take place at the Newport Head Start Administration Building, 437 W. Ninth St. Classes may begin as soon as February in Covington.

        To be eligible, a woman must receive welfare or have a low income. In a family of four, a woman who took in $1,700 a month would be eligible.

        Upon completion of the course, the women will know how to operate heavy equipment and perform basic carpentry and masonry jobs.

        They'll also have a good chance at nabbing a highway construction job that pays $14 an hour.

        The development council began training women for highway construction jobs in 1995. Now it has programs in Richmond and London that have placed 120 women — or roughly 75 percent of its students — with indepen dent contractors.

        Stephanie Gorrell, the development council's employment and training manger, said Kentucky Rivers is bringing its efforts to Northern Kentucky because of the constant work along Interstate 75 and Interstate 275.

        Jane Anderson, the Northern Kentucky program de veloper, is in charge of recruiting women. She touts the program's ability to “help women merge onto the road of independence.”

        Women In Highway Construction also gives women a chance at tasks most men don't even consider, she said.

        In the end, “they'll feel good about themselves,” she said

        For more information, call Ms. Anderson at (513) 575-0679.


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- Program offers women training