An on-line, for-profit technical college based in St. Joseph is marketing educational opportunities aimed at workers who have lost, or will lose, their jobs due the shutdown of the Energizer battery plant in Maryville scheduled for later this year.
The American College of Technology has announced that it has financial assistance available for Energizer employees in need of retraining in order to qualify for work in other fields.
"We’re going to extend a scholarship to help right now so they don’t have to borrow any funds or come out of pocket with any funds while they’re losing their job," said Lute Atieh, ACOT's director of operations and technology.
"So if you’ve already been laid off we can help you, and if you’re going to be laid off we can help prepare you."
Energizer Holdings Inc. announced that it was closing the plant last November as part of a general restructuring. In Maryville, the move affects more than 300 full-time employees as well 150 part-time contract workers.
College officials plan to conduct weekly information sessions in Maryville over the next six months. The first session took place Tuesday, and a second is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at the Holiday Inn Express, located at 2929 S. Main St.
According to ACOT officials, the school has offered similar programs in the past following corporate layoffs across the region. Scholarship funding takes the form of federal and state dollars earmarked for displaced worker training.
"The way our tuition and books work is a fixed cost," Atieh said. "With the type of funding that’s available it usually doesn’t cost the student any money out of their pocket."
On-line offerings available through the school comprise one- and two-year programs leading to certificates and associate degrees. Courses of study include programming, network administration, business administration, criminal justice and health information technology.