Brighton Center fears education, training program would face cuts under Trump budget

Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 20, 2017

NEWPORT, Ky. -- Susan Collins is now working a normal five-day week, in a job where taking someone's blood pressure is about the most she'll exert herself.

That's a far cry from her previous workload: Collins used to work double shifts, she said, and the work was physically demanding.

The Westwood mother of five said she got something at Brighton Center's Center for Employment Training she didn't have before: "Confidence."

"I have gained so much knowledge," she said.

Success stories, such as Collins', have left Brighton executive vice president Wonda Winkler worried about President Donald Trump's budget. His proposed spending plan would boost funding for the military but also cut some education programs.

Winkler said that could harm efforts to lift working people out of poverty.

"Reduction in expense means less people served," she said.

Cuts to Brighton's training center could reach the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Winkler said. It's a best early guess, complicated because other programs helping students with a holistic approach also face reductions.

"If you need help with food, they have a food pantry here," Collins said. "Also I got help with money management."

Brighton already is working to educate lawmakers and hoping donations can bridge any gap so no one is turned away.

"First, we're trying to understand the full impact of what that will mean to us, because our funding is very diverse, and we're trying to understand what is the financial implication it would have for us an organization," Winkler said.