The local agency that deals with unemployed workers had to lay off some of its own employees last week because of a delay in receiving a federal grant.
The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas laid off six of its employees, bringing its work force to 41.
The alliance, which channels government funds to pay for classes for laid-off workers, ran out of training money in the fall.
The agency filed its request for emergency training funds from the U.S. Department of Labor in the summer and has been sending in more information and waiting ever since.
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The chances of receiving all or some of the $11.9 million request remain good, said Keith Lawing, executive director of the alliance, but the wait has become more than just frustrating.
"The irony is that this is the time when we need these resources in our economy more than ever," he said. "I'm more than a little frustrated because, in my mind, we met the criteria and the need is certainly there."
There are about 1,200 people on the alliance's waiting list who would get retraining at Wichita Area Technical College, Butler Community College or elsewhere.
The idea, Lawing said, is that these workers would update skills in their existing areas of expertise or move into new ones.
Most of the alliance employees who were laid off were case managers who counseled laid-off workers coming out of the program about how to write resumes and find work.
Once the education funds dried up, there were fewer people to counsel, Lawing said.
"I just don't understand the delay," Lawing said. "It's a slow response to a well-documented situation."