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ETA News Release: [6/27/2012]
Contact Name: Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-5051
Release Number: 12-1306-NEW

US Labor Department announces 3 National Emergency Grants to assist more than 750 workers in Puerto Rico affected by recent plant closures

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded three National Emergency Grants totaling more than $4 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources that will assist more than 750 workers affected by recent plant closures and resulting layoffs in Puerto Rico.

"The services provided through these federal grants will help these dislocated workers improve their re-employment prospects by providing training to prepare them for careers in high-demand industries," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

A $1,928,745 grant will assist more than 400workers affected by the closure of three Bluewater Defense Inc. locations and of Legacy Pharmaceuticals International, all located in eastern Puerto Rico. The funds will provide employment and training services to prepare dislocated workers for jobs in the advanced manufacturing, financial services, information technology, health care and retail industries.

A $1,061,970 grant will provide employment-related services to about 200 workers affected by the closure of Checkpoint Caribbean Ltd. in Ponce. The funds will provide dislocated workers, many of whom are also eligible to receive Trade Adjustment Assistance, with access to "wrap-around" and supportive services unavailable through the TAA program.

A $1,136,000 grant will assist about 160 workers affected by the closure of Bumble Bee Foods LLC in Mayaguez. The funds will provide employment and training services to assist the dislocated workers in obtaining jobs in the construction, energy, hospitality, retail and transportation sectors.

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