The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) is awarding a $657,841 National Emergency Grant (NEG) to the Maine Department of Labor to serve workers impacted by layoffs at Katahdin Paper mill in East Millinocket. According to USDOL, the NEG, which will be administered by the Eastern Maine Development Corporation, will be used to provide reemployment services to the dislocated workers.
"These workers are my neighbors, and I know how tough the mill closure has been on them and their families," said Michaud, who wrote a letter of support for the NEG to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in May. "I remain hopeful that we can still find a buyer for the mill and get these workers their jobs back. In the meantime, this funding will help impacted workers plan their next steps and find other work. I continue to be in close contact with the towns of the Katahdin region, and I stand ready to help in any way that I can moving forward."
Dislocated Katahdin Paper workers were previously certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance in March, and the funding announced today will provide additional assistance. According to the NEG application filed by the Maine Department of Labor, the NEG is expected to help serve dislocated workers with the full continuum of reemployment services, including recruitment, career assessment, case management services, supportive services, job development, job placement, retention and follow-up services. Workers will receive individualized career assessments and planning services to ensure that all needs are taken into account and that they have effective training and reemployment strategies that lead to full-time stable employment.