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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [02/26/2009]
Contact Name: Suzy Bohnert
Phone Number: (202) 693-4665
Release Number: 09-0191-DAL

U.S. Department of Labor announces $500,000 grant to assist workers in Louisiana affected by paper industry layoffs

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $500,000 grant to assist approximately 275 workers affected by layoffs at International Paper in Bastrop, La.

"Today's grant will aid affected Louisianians by providing training and employment services to help prepare them for new careers," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Douglas F. Small.

Awarded to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, this grant will provide affected workers with access to training and employment-related services. Trade-eligible workers will have access to services not covered under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. These services include skills assessment, counseling, case management, job search and job placement assistance and follow-up.

Training services will be provided by developing comprehensive individual employment plans that will align employment goals with regional opportunities in demand occupations.

On Nov. 21, 2008, International Paper issued a public notice announcing the closure of the Bastrop Pulp Mill in Bastrop. The layoff of the workers began on Jan. 21, 2009.

Of the $500,000 announced today, $245,000 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance.

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.