On-site assistance available for laidoff workers

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 26, 2002

Gov. Don Siegelman has awarded $88,707 to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations to provide on-site assistance to workers when plants announce layoffs or close. Siegelman notified Director Alice McKinney that the grant had been approved.

"I am committed not only to creating new jobs, but helping workers who need retraining and assistance to re-enter the marketplace," Siegelman said. "I understand how traumatic it is for employees who lose their jobs after years of service at a company – something I saw happen to my own father. Without the opportunity to update their skills, people who have lost their jobs often are unable to re-enter the job market. We must provide these workers with the training they need so that they can get back to work and provide for their families."

The Department of Industrial Relations will assign Employment Service and Unemployment Compensation Division employees to work with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ Rapid Response team. This team visits plants that have announced layoffs and closings and meets with affected employees to determine employee needs and provide information about available services. At the employee meetings, workers are provided information about unemployment compensation, retraining, employment services, personal budgeting and other services.

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Siegelman awarded the grant from the funds made available to the state through the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Investment Act program. He has designated the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to administer the grant.