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ETA News Release: [03/09/2011]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Dave Roberts
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x5945
Release Number: 11-0310-BOS

US Department of Labor provides funding to assist about 400 dislocated Massachusetts workers with training and employment-related services

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $1,570,907 grant to assist about 400 workers affected by the closing of Sonoco Packaging Products in Devens, Mass., and layoffs at Debbie's Staffing in Ayer, Mass.

"Many of these workers — who have lost jobs through no fault of their own — face significant language and education barriers to new employment," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This grant will make available the services they need to re-enter the workforce."

Awarded to the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development, this grant will be operated by the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board. It will provide these dislocated workers, many of whom are also certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance, with access to "wrap-around" and supportive services that are not available through the TAA program. The workers that are not TAA-eligible will have access to the full array of training and employment-related services under this grant, including English for speakers of other languages classes and assistance to prepare for the General Educational Development tests.

Of the $1,570,907 announced today, $701,933 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the commonwealth demonstrates a continued need for funding.

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