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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [05/24/2010]
Contact Name: Michael Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-0702-DEN

US Department of Labor announces $1.8 million grant to assist workers in Montana affected by timber and wood products layoffs

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $1.8 million grant to assist around 450 workers affected by layoffs at Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. in western Montana.

"Montana's timber and wood products industry saw a marked downturn during the recent recession," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Today's grant will help these workers enter training that will allow them to compete for and find jobs in new and emerging industries."

Awarded to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, this grant will be operated by the Statewide Workforce Programs and Oversight Bureau. The grant will provide dislocated workers from Plum Creek and Smurfit-Stone who are also certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance with access to "wrap-around" and supportive services. These services include dependent care and transportation assistance, which will help them pursue training opportunities and are not available through the TAA program. Any workers not eligible for TAA will have access to the full array of training and employment-related services under this grant.

Plum Creek laid off workers between Jan. 8 and June 25, 2009. Smurfit-Stone laid off workers following the facility's closure on Dec. 31, 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/.