President Bob Blair Announces Free College Benefit for UFCW 227 Members and Their Families

ufcw_freecollege_buttonBy Bob Blair

I had a scholarship to play basketball at Valdosta State University in Georgia when I graduated high school. That year my Dad had a massive heart attack. The decision to stay in Louisville to care for him and my mom was an easy one. I also had a half scholarship to Bellarmine University, but even with that aid, tuition was still too expensive.

I went to work for Kroger in 1977 and thanks to this union I was able to support my family. The economy is very different today and the importance of a college degree has increased dramatically since I graduated high school. By 2018 nearly half of all jobs in Kentucky will require a college degree.

As a parent I have worked hard to provide a better life for my kids, just like we all do. I’m proud that my son is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and my daughter, a high school junior, will soon be looking at schools. However, since my son graduated, tuition at the University of Kentucky has increased by 59.5%. Too many people either can’t afford to go to college or they are struggling with crushing student loan debt.

Our union works hard every day to make life better for thousands of families. It’s because we believe that your hard work has earned you something better. We fight for more than just what’s in your union contract. The modern workforce has modern problems that need 21st century solutions. Unions have done more for the middle class than any other group throughout American history and now it’s time to focus on a better future.

This is why I’m excited to announce a Free College Benefit we have created for our union members and their families. We’ve partnered with Eastern Gateway College to provide you, your spouse, children, dependents and grandchildren with a way to earn an Associates Degree online with no out of pocket cost to you.

Eastern Gateway Community College is an accredited college that is part of the University of Ohio system. They are currently offering online programs in Criminal Justice, Business Management, Early Childhood Education and the Associate of Arts degree. Programs in Labor Studies, Health Information and IT are in the process of being added.

If you’re interested:

  • Call our union office at (502) 582-3508 or (800) 443-5191 and dial ‘0’ or click here to begin the process of verifying your union membership
  • An admissions officer from Eastern Gateway Community College will contact you to get you enrolled
  • Apply for Federal Financial Aid and apply any grants to your tuition (grants only, not loans)
  • Submit your High School Transcript (or GED equivalent)
  • Apply for any tuition assistance from your employer
  • Classes begin January 17th, 2017!

By working together we can overcome the challenges we all face together. We will continue to work hard so that you can provide your family with the better life they deserve. After all you’ve earned it.

Click here to start the process of verifying your union membership and apply for free college through your union!

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