The U.S. Department of Labor on March 29 announced a $13,614,919 grant to assist about 2,817 workers affected by layoffs at multiple companies in Wisconsin, primarily in the manufacturing sector.
"Job creation and economic recovery are this administration's top priorities. We recognize that those goals will not be realized – in Wisconsin and throughout the nation – until workers who have been laid off are able to quickly gain the skills and services they need to enter good jobs with real stability and opportunities for advancement," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
Awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, this grant will be operated by the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board; the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board; the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board; Northwest Wisconsin CEP Inc.; the Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board; the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board; Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Inc.; Workforce Connections Inc.; Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin; and Workforce Resource Inc.
A number of the workers included in this grant also are certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance and many others are waiting for a determination on their TAA petitions. For those workers who are found eligible for TAA, this grant will provide access to "wrap-around" and supportive services, such as dependent care and transportation assistance, that are not available through the TAA program. Those workers who are not eligible for TAA will have access to the full array of training and employment-related services under this grant.
Wisconsin has experienced heavy job losses since 2007, particularly in the manufacturing sector. According to a study completed by the University of Wisconsin Center on Wisconsin Strategies, the state lost nearly 140,000 jobs — 66,000 of them in manufacturing — between December 2007 and July 2009.
Of the $13,614,919 announced March 29, $5,072,148 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance. The amount released March 29 will be funded by resources made available for National Emergency Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
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.