DOL Gives Grant to Help Laid Off Paper Mill Workers

The Department of Labor issued a $527,465 grant on Wednesday to help workers who were laid off at the Katahdin Paper Co. in Millinocket, Maine. The grant, awarded to the Maine Department of Labor, will provide the workers with access to the full array of dislocated worker services. TAA-eligible workers will have access to services not covered under the TAA program, including skills assessment, counseling, case management, job search assistance, job placement and follow-up.

"While the mill's future is being worked out, today's grant will provide eligible workers with a fallback of intensive training for new occupations as well as supportive services for smoothing re-employment transitions," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Brent R. Orrell.

On May 28, Katahdin Paper Co. issued a public notice announcing the closure of its Millinocket paper manufacturing plant. The mill shut down Sept. 2, and layoffs began shortly afterward.

The grant will be operated by the Eastern Maine Development Corp. The Katahdin Community Transition Team, formed in June 2008, has developed training strategies that will be implemented for workers seeking to take advantage of them.

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 www.doleta.gov/NEG.

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