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ETA News Release: [04/30/2009]
Contact Name: Peggy Abrahamson or Suzy Bohnert
Phone Number: (202) 693-7909 or x4665
Release Number: 09-0415-SEA

U.S. Department of Labor announces grant exceeding $2 million to assist workers in Oregon affected by recreational vehicle industry layoffs

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $2,047,844 grant to assist approximately 240 workers affected by the closure of Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. manufacturing plants located in the rural communities of La Grande and Pendleton, Ore.

"This grant will allow affected workers in Oregon to access the services and training necessary to allow them to enter occupations in growing regional industries," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Today's grant will be awarded to the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. The grant will be operated by the Oregon Consortium, a private/public partnership established to revitalize the economies of Oregon's rural counties, and the Oregon Workforce Alliance/Training and Employment Consortium, a nonprofit organization providing career training and job placement services.

Affected workers will have access to the full array of dislocated worker services. These may include skills assessment, basic skills training, individual career counseling and occupational skills training. Training will focus on industries showing job growth in the area including: office and administrative support, construction, health care, and maintenance and repair.

Between Sept. 5 and Dec. 16, 2008, Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. began a series of layoffs. On March 9, 2009, Fleetwood announced the closure of its plants in La Grande and Pendleton, and an immediate layoff of additional employees. On March 10, Fleetwood filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Of the $2,047,844 announced today, $943,669 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance. Resources for this National Emergency Grant are from the secretary of labor's discretionary fund under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

National Emergency Grants are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.