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Grant money will help retrain displaced workers

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ANN MARIE AMES
July 1, 2009
— The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday announced the release of a second portion of a $3.8 million grant for training programs to help dislocated autoworkers in Rock County.

"This is good news," said Bob Borremans, director of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.


The county applied for the National Emergency Grant last summer. In October, the county received $1.6 million to help nearly 800 workers, including the second-shift workers laid off from the Janesville General Motors plant in July, Borremans said.


In April, the grant was expanded to include about 1,515 workers, according to a news release from the department of labor.


The second installment of $2.2 million will help Rock County add new workers into employment training programs, Borremans said.


"We can add new people and pay for year two of training for some folks," Borremans said.


Qualified workers have been laid off from jobs in the auto industry and related industries. Local companies include GM and its suppliers such as Lear, Alcoa and LSI, Borremans said.


The county had to spend the first portion of the money before it could apply for the rest, Borremans said. The department of labor had awarded "up to" $3.8 million to the county.


Borremans encourages dislocated workers to come to the job center to find out if they qualify for training or other assistance.


"We keep telling them to come in and take advantage of the training dollars," Borremans said. "These are the training dollars."


The Rock County Job Center is at 1900 Center Ave., Janesville. Call (608) 741-3400 or visit www.jobcenter.org.
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, according to the news release. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG.

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