Laid-off workers in Kansas City are using their free time to return to school in an effort to gain skills to try and improve their employment prospects. All of this education should, in theory, improve employment prospects. But what happens to the graduates?

According to an article Su Bacon the Kansas City Star:

Workers… are returning to classrooms throughout the Kansas City area to acquire the knowledge they need to change career paths and re-enter the job market.

“The jobs that are in demand now tend to require more training and a higher skill set,” said Scott Anglemyer, executive director of Workforce Partnership, a Kansas organization that helps job seekers find the jobs they want and employers find the workers they need through services provided at no cost.

The article goes on to profile seven unemployed people returning to school to complete degrees in an effort to get new jobs. They’re taking classes in nursing, veterinary technology, and computer technology. As the article puts it,

Better pay, a new career, more marketable skills, a heart’s calling — whatever the reason, workers are realizing that recessionary times often require retooling.

But is it working? That’s a little unclear. The Kansas City region isn’t exactly a major center for economic development. According to the article, the industries with job growth in the area include transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, and construction.

Are the new degrees helping people get better jobs? Perhaps sometimes. But it would probably help a lot more if the region just had some more jobs available.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer