Another $100,000 will help retrain laid-off Maine Military Authority workers

Posted June 25, 2012, at 5:43 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — State and local officials announced Monday that an additional $100,000 will be funneled into Maine to help retrain former Maine Military Authority employees.

Last May, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $463,083 to be administered by the Northern Maine Development Commission and the Aroostook/Washington Workforce Investment Board. The money was requested to help employees laid off from the Limestone military vehicle refurbishing facility.

The National Emergency Grant supplement will finance re-employment and training services for about 75 of 150 workers affected by the layoffs last year.

“More of the dislocated workers are seeking retraining assistance as their unemployment insurance benefits begin to exhaust and are exploring new careers that these funds will be able to assist in their progress,” Ryan Pelletier, executive director of the Aroostook/Washington Workforce Investment Board, said Monday.

Maine Military Authority has laid off roughly 150 people because of a dropoff in federal work orders.

The company has 194 employees.

National Emergency Grants are provided in response to large, unexpected economic events that lead to significant job losses.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, was pleased to hear the news.

“This important funding will ensure that the 75 workers affected by layoffs at Maine Military Authority continue to have access to essential employment services,” said Michaud. “In this tough climate, National Emergency Grants provide vital assistance that help workers get back on their feet.”

Jane Oates, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training, said that the additional funding “will enable these workers to continue to receive services that equip them with the necessary skills to re-enter the workforce.”

“Access to this kind of assistance is critical in today’s challenging labor market,” she added.

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