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ETA News Release: [05/31/2012]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Mary Brandenberger
Phone Number: (202) 693-4679 or x4651
Release Number: 12-1121-BOS

US Department of Labor provides grant increment to continue employment assistance for workers affected by layoffs in Massachusetts

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an $868,974 National Emergency Grant increment to continue providing employment-related services to about 400 workers affected by the closure of the Sonoco Packaging Products in Devens, Mass., and related layoffs by Debbie's Staffing in Ayer, Mass., which provided temporary workers to the Sonoco packaging center.

"The additional federal funds announced today will ensure that these dislocated workers continue to receive job training and re-employment assistance so they may obtain jobs in growing local industries," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Awarded to the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development, this grant increment will provide continued funding for "wrap-around" and supportive services these workers are receiving in addition to Trade Adjustment Assistance.

A National Emergency Grant of $1,570,907 was awarded in March 2011, with $701,933 released initially. Today's increment completes the total amount of funding awarded.

In August 2008, Proctor & Gamble announced that it would close the Sonoco center by the end of December 2010 due to escalating labor costs, and move packaging operations handled by the center to Mexico and Poland.

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/.