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Kentucky Receives $20 Million to Address Long Term Unemployment

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Kentucky is one of 10 states chosen to develop a model program to assist those who are long-term unemployed and on food stamps.  

The Commonwealth will receive almost $20 million from the federal government to support the pilot program.  U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Thursday in Lexington. 

"We're now in a position to say, 'here's resources, figure out how to link these people,'" said Vilsack.  "You know, these are not people who are gonna be easy to employ; they may have been unemployed for an extended period of time."

Vilsack says about 80 percent of Americans on food stamps fall into the categories of seniors, those with disabilities, or children.  He says this effort is focused on the other 20 percent who are unemployed.   Governor Beshear welcomes the word about the additional federal support. 

"This grant is gonna do some miraculous things in giving us the opportunity to work on an individual basis with our families," said Beshear.

Vilsack, meanwhile, is hopeful Kentucky can help develop a model for other states to emulate. 

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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