$3.4 million grant awarded to support ex-Goodyear workers

$3.4 million grant awarded to support ex-Goodyear workers
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a $3,448,259 grant to provide re-employment and support services to about 850 workers laid off in July due to the closure of Union City’s Goodyear plant.
The local tire plant actually shut down in mid-July, affecting nearly 1,900 workers at the plant.
Since then, there have been trade fairs and state programs that have been launched to assist the displaced workers from Goodyear as they pursued other careers.
Also on the heels of the Goodyear plant closure, the state Department of Economic and Community Development designated Obion County as a Tier III Enhancement County. That designation elevated Obion County to a high priority status in terms of tax credits for industrial development.
Meanwhile, considerable speculation is being generated locally concerning the future of the local Goodyear plant. Speculation continues to circulate concerning the possible sale of the plant to an industrial prospect; however, there has been no official confirmation about any deal from local, state or Goodyear officials.
“This grant from the federal government will fund training and other services for former Goodyear workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “By updating and enhancing their skills, these workers will be better prepared for good jobs in Tennessee’s growing industries.”
Awarded to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the grant will provide training and supportive services to the workers, in conjunction with services they will receive as a result of their eligibility for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits, to successfully find re-employment in Tennessee.
Workers provided by staffing company Hamilton Ryker to Goodyear also are covered by the grant, as well as eligible family members.
Of the $3,448,259 grant, $1,329,650 will be released initially.
Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance, according to the news release.
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.
Published in The Messenger 11.9.11

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