The U.S. Department of Labor on April 15 announced a $465,204 grant to assist about 79 workers affected by layoffs at the Weyerhaeuser Company's Warrenton Sawmill in Warrenton, Ore.

"As recovery takes root, this administration is committed to helping all workers – including those in Oregon's lumber industry, who were particularly hard hit by the economic downturn," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Today's grant will help ensure that affected employees receive access to re-employment and retraining services that will help them find new jobs in emerging sectors of their local economy."

Awarded to the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, this grant will be operated by the Oregon Consortium and Oregon Workforce Alliance. If a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition for these dislocated workers is approved, this grant will provide them with access to "wrap-around" and supportive services, such as dependent care and transportation assistance that are not available through the TAA program. If the TAA petition is denied, the workers will have access to the full array of training and employment-related services under this grant.

Layoffs at Weyerhaeuser began in December 2009 and concluded with the closure of the facility on February 5, 2010.

This grant 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/