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As companies battle strained budgets during the recession, more and more are offering innovative perks to keep employees engaged, particularly as traditional employee benefit costs continue to rise. Take this example: A number of employers in Kansas City are giving their workers debit cards that can be used to cover educational expenses upfront — not only for tuition, but also for supplies for trade school courses and even certification exams and professional conferences.

Katie Kuehner-Hebert


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