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City University of Seattle is doing its part to give people in our community a chance to use this economic downturn as a way up the career ladder. City University of Seattle is going to award 1,000 scholarships equaling $10 million to laid-off workers and community and technical college students in Washington state. This morning, Governor Chris Gregoire joined the President of City University of Seattle, Lee Gorsuch, Executive Director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Charles N. Earl; Chancellor of Seattle Community Colleges, Dr. Jill A. Wakefield; and Commissioner of the Washington State Employment Security Department, Karen Lee as they announced City University of Seattle’s “Scholarships for Tomorrow’s Careers” program.

The “Scholarships for Tomorrow’s Careers” program brings together the private and public sectors to provide a boost to laid-off workers and community and technical college students in Washington state who are affected by the economic recession. Through this program, students can afford tuition through a combination of the tuition scholarships, available student financial aid, federal Pell grants, and tax credits. The scholarships are discounts on tuition for two years. The program may be renewed next year following a financial and student need assessment next fall.

City University of Seattle has invited all 34 community and technical colleges in Washington state to participate in the scholarship program. City University of Seattle will work directly with the presidents of those colleges to award the more than $7.5 million in scholarships for their students who may be faced with an inability to transfer to public four-year universities as they planned. For people who have been laid-off since October 2008, City University of Seattle will provide 200 scholarships to laid-off workers who want to complete their bachelor’s degree and 200 scholarships for those seeking to earn a master’s degree, equaling a total of $2.7 million.

“These scholarships represent not just an opportunity for Washingtonians to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees, they also provide Washington employers with more men and women prepared for the 21st century economy once this recession ends,” said Governor Gregoire. “Hundreds of these scholarships will be awarded to recently laid-off workers, giving them hope and purpose to improve their lives and the lives of their families.”

“The best long-term strategy in the midst of this global economic recession is to make yourself more competitive by getting your education,” said Lee Gorsuch, President, City University of Seattle. “City University of Seattle is in a unique position, as a private, not-for-profit university, to be able to help our neighbors by funding 1,000 scholarships worth $10 million for laid-off workers and community and technical college students who may otherwise be unable to go to school. As the economic crisis continues to unfold, it becomes more important then ever for all of us to identify where we can extend a hand to our community and make a difference.”

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