WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $471,629 National Emergency Grant to assist approximately 228 workers affected by layoffs at several of Oshkosh Defense's, a division of Oshkosh Corp., facilities located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
"This federal grant will help these workers laid off from the manufacturing industry by providing the retraining and re-employment services that are so crucial to enable them to transition to other growing industries in Wisconsin," said Portia Wu, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. "Today's grant will help these workers gain skills and abilities that will allow them to compete for and find jobs in new industries."
The grant, awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and administered by the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board Inc., will help provide the affected workers with access to re-employment services, such as training for occupations in in-demand fields, career counseling and job search assistance. The state and project operator are also collaborating with the United Auto Workers, which represented those affected by these layoffs, in the delivery of re-employment services provided to the eligible workers. A transition center has been set up in a UAW union hall, within close proximity to the Oshkosh worksites, as an additional venue from which re-employment services are available.
In April 2014, the workers at Oshkosh Defense were notified by a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice that approximately 760 workers would be affected by layoffs. The company manufactures tactical military vehicles, and large cuts in military spending have led to a reduction in Oshkosh Defense's business.
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.