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ETA News Release: [05/19/2009]
Contact Name: Peggy Abrahamson or Suzy Bohnert
Phone Number: (202) 693-7909 or x4665
Release Number: 09-0560-CHI

U.S. Department of Labor announces $1.3 million grant to assist workers affected by declining automotive industry in Minnesota

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $1,320,100 grant to assist approximately 307 workers across the state of Minnesota affected by layoffs from 27 companies in the retail, service and manufacturing sectors of the declining automotive industry.

"These Minnesota workers have expressed interest in education and training, and career development assistance including job placement services," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Today's grant will aid them in upgrading existing skills and preparing for new careers in growing regional industries."

This grant will be awarded to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and will provide affected workers with access to the full array of employment-related services. Under this grant, approximately 50 workers also certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) will have access to "wrap-around" services such as skills assessment, counseling, case management, job search assistance, job placement assistance and follow-up not available through TAA. Supportive services such as dependent care, transportation assistance and relocation assistance may also be provided.

Minnesota's automotive industry began a significant downturn in April 2007 with the closure of Ford Motor Co.'s assembly plant in St. Paul. Between October 2008 and January 2009, workers from 27 automotive-related companies were notified of pending dislocations.

Of the $1,320,100 announced today, $660,052 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance.

The amount released today 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, www.doleta.gov/NEG/.