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News Release

ETA News Release: [06/12/2009]
Contact Name: Mike Volpe or Peggy Abrahamson
Phone Number: (202) 693-3984 or x7909
Release Number: 09-0682-CHI

U.S. Department of Labor announces $4.8 million grant to assist Minnesota workers affected by layoffs in retail and manufacturing

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $4,768,700 grant to assist approximately 1,109 workers affected by layoffs at five companies in the manufacturing and retail industries.

"This funding will provide workers with the education and training needed to upgrade existing skills or learn new skills in order to gain employment in growing regional industries," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Offering workers the opportunity to enter new careers is an important part of revitalizing regional economies and a step toward nationwide economic recovery."

Today's grant will be awarded to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Of the workers targeted for services, 182 also have been certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). Through this dual enrollment, these workers will have access to "wrap-around" services that are not available through the TAA program. These services may include skills assessment, career counseling, case management, and job search and placement assistance.

Between November 2008 and February 2009, the affected workers from each of the five companies were notified of pending dislocations by Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices, public announcements or directly by company management. This grant includes workers laid off from the following companies: Celestica, Hutchinson Technology Inc., International Business Machines (IBM), Seagate Technology Inc. and Target.

Of the $4,768,700 announced today, $1,322,649 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance. This grant will be funded by resources made available for National Emergency Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.