Press Releases

TN Dept of Labor to Give Over $8 Mil to Laid Off GM Workers

Press Release from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Gov. Bill Haslam; March 23, 2011:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis today announced $8,397,127 to assist General Motors workers affected by layoffs in the automotive industry.

In addition to former General Motors employees in Spring Hill, the U.S. Department of Labor award aids workers at these supplier companies: Johnson Controls, MAPA Spontex, Penske Logistics, and Premier Manufacturing Services.

“The goal of this grant is to provide these workers the necessary training to find other career opportunities that will place them in new and permanent jobs,” said Haslam.

Examples of kinds of training workers can receive through the grant are Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Technology; Green Jobs Technology; several healthcare areas, including Licensed Practical Nursing; Automotive Technology; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC); Residential Wiring and Plumbing; Electronics; Computer Operation and Networking; and Hospitality Arts. Most of the courses are offered at the Training Center at Northfield.

“The layoffs have been a blow to workers in the ten counties surrounding the Spring Hill plant,” said Commissioner Karla Davis. “This grant allows us to serve more people affected by this closure, continue existing programs, and provide these workers the in-demand skills they need to get back to work.”

The grant is awarded to the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development and operated by the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board.

Jan McKeel, Executive Director for the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance, said the grant will not only focus on classroom training, but also on paid internships and on-the-job training.

“We are thrilled the emergency grant will enable us to offer these dislocated workers specialized training opportunities not currently available,” said Jan. “We will continue the great work we’ve started.”

Affected workers must apply at the Career Center at Northfield or one of the Tennessee Career Centers serving the following counties: Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Marshall, Maury, Perry, Wayne, Rutherford, and Williamson.

A number of the workers covered by the grant also are certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance. For those workers, this grant will provide access to “wrap-around” and supportive services, such as dependent care and transportation assistance, which are not available through the TAA program. Workers who are not eligible for TAA will have access to the full array of training and employment-related services available under the grant.

Of the $8,397,127 amount of the grant, $4,851,182 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as need is demonstrated.

National Emergency Grants are part of the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines.