On Jan 5, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a $2,201,214 grant to assist about 500 workers affected by layoffs at multiple companies in the construction and manufacturing industries in central and southeastern Texas.
The grant was awarded to the Texas Workforce Commission, and will be operated by the Central Texas Workforce Board. Of the $2,201,214 announced, $1,021,902 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance. Layoffs at the companies covered took place between September 2008 and April 2009. Those from Alcoa Inc. and Zachry Holdings Inc., who are also certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), will be provided with access to "wrap-around" and supportive services, such as dependent care and transportation assistance, which are not available through the TAA program. Some other dislocated workers, from Becon Construction Co. Inc. and Texas Hydraulics Inc., who are not TAA-eligible, will be provided with access to the full array of dislocated worker services available.
"Texas construction and manufacturing workers have contributed immensely to our nation, and they deserve our support," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This grant will help ensure that the affected workers receive the employment and retraining services necessary for securing jobs in new and emerging local industries." The grant will be funded by resources made available for National Emergency Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
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