$1.7 million available to assist workers impacted by layoffs at Noranda Aluminum

Thursday, March 10, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --Missouri has pledged to make $1.7 million in resources available to assist the nearly 850 workers impacted by layoffs at the Noranda Aluminum in New Madrid. These resources, made available through the Missouri Department of Economic Development and partner agencies, will help impacted workers offset costs of utilities, housing, job placement training and tuition.

"These layoffs have affected hundreds of Missouri families in the region, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help these workers transition and move forward," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "The resources we're announcing today will not only help these hardworking Missourians make ends meet, they will also help stabilize the local economy."

The Missouri Department of Economic Development has already held several resource meetings and job fairs this year to provide affected workers with Job Center services, current labor market information and assistance with filing for Unemployment Insurance. In addition, DED is designating $500,000 of its federal dislocated worker training grant to help workers get retrained or earn a certificate or degree. Interested applicants can learn more about these services at their local Missouri Jobs Center.

Additional meetings will be held throughout the month (See sidebar).

For those needing immediate employment, DED is incentivizing other area businesses to hire affected workers by offsetting the cost to onboard and train new employees. Through On-the-Job Training, employers can receive reimbursement for 50 percent of the worker's salary for up to 18 weeks.

The Missouri DED has also submitted a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition to the U.S. Department of Labor requesting additional assistance for the workers which could include health care, relocation assistance, and other support services.

Through a Community Development Block Grant, DED is obligating $1.2 million to assist dislocated workers with emergency supportive services. These funds are designed to offset needs relating to housing (rent/mortgage payments), utilities, transportation, and other costs for up to three months. The funds will be allocated to New Madrid County to manage and distribute to families impacted by the layoff. To date, 490 workers have been laid off with an additional 360 workers expected to lose their jobs this month.

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