U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, announced Friday, a grant of $716,388, with an initial release of $285,744, to assist approximately 190 workers affected by the closure of Georgia Pacific Paper Mills in Maine.
On March 16, 2006, Georgia Pacific announced it would close facilities in Old Town, Maine, as of May 15. Workers from that location and feeder plants in Houlton, Milo, Costigan and Portage, Maine, are covered under this grant. Additionally, on May 25, all of the workers covered by this grant also were certified as eligible to apply for services under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Through the TAA program, eligible workers will receive training through admission to community colleges and other eligible providers.
“Maine workers affected by the Georgia Pacific closures who wish to update their skills to launch new careers in high-growth industries, will receive training and job placement assistance funded by this grant,” said Secretary Chao. “These workers will benefit from workshops and reemployment services that will help them build bright futures in new jobs.”
The grant, awarded to the Main Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services, will provide the affected workers a continuum of re-employment services to include recruitment and assessment, workshops, basic skills development, job search assistance and placement and retention services.
National Emergency Grants are part of the Secretary's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information on National Emergency Grants and other Department of Labor employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.