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$500 training grant for jobless members now an ongoing program

A popular program that provides a grant of up to $500 in skills training or education to laid-off members of CWA Canada has been extended indefinitely.

In early 2009, as the media industry reeled from the effects of the recession, the union introduced the grants program to minimize the impact of job cuts. More than $25,000 was paid out from CWA Canada's Defence Fund that year.

The program was extended through 2010 and then 2011. The union executive has now voted to continue it on an ongoing basis.

Any member of CWA Canada who becomes jobless due to layoff, buyout or early retirement is eligible for reimbursement of up to $500 upon proof of payment for an education course or any type of training.

Members can also choose from among hundreds of online courses in the fields of either digital media, telecommunications or software offered by the CWA/NETT Academy through an arrangement with Lynda.com.

Digital media courses include video production and editing, web design, Flash and basic HTML. Telecom courses include DC/AC circuits analysis, fibre optics, basic networking, VOIP and data communications.

Claims for the grant must be submitted within one year of the actual layoff. Proof of payment for a course or training is to be sent to Marj Botsford at the national office.