Wyden, Merkley Announce Emergency Funding To Retrain Workers In Eastern Oregon

Portland – Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced today funding to retrain about 150 workers laid off by Northwood Manufacturing in La Grande.

The Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development will receive about $438,000 in emergency funds from the U.S. Department of Labor to help workers in Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Union and Wallowa counties. Funding could rise as high as $877,000 depending on the need for further assistance.

The grant will fund a comprehensive list of services for dislocated workers, including skills assessment, basic skills training, individual career counseling, and occupational skills training. 

“The recession is hitting rural communities particularly hard.  It is important that when we begin to rebound, workers in all parts of Oregon feel the benefits of the recovery,” Merkley said.  “I am pleased that this assistance is available to help workers retrain and prepare to find jobs in our changing economy.  With the right training and opportunity, they will be able to build a brighter future for their families and communities.”

“This grant ensures that workers in northeast Oregon affected by this lay off will have access to the full array of dislocated worker services necessary to find new jobs,” Wyden said. “It also sends the message that state and federal government is working together to make sure that services are available to help workers make it through these difficult economic times and have the skills that will be in demand in the future.”