Emergency Workforce Assistance Approved for 570 Kimberly-Clark Workers

WA Senators and Representatives backed Department of Labor emergency assistance Kimberly-Clark workers transitioning to new jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA-02), and U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA-09) hailed the Department of Labor’s approval of $1.79 million in emergency assistance for 570 Kimberly-Clark workers in Everett, who lost their jobs and are transitioning to new employment.

In February, Cantwell led a delegation letter in support of the workforce assistance, which was signed by Senator Murray and Congressmen Larsen and Smith as well as former Congressman Inslee. In the letter, the Washington delegation members supported a quick decision on the Snohomish County Workforce Development Council’s application for a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dual-Enrollment National Emergency Grant. The grant, approved today in the amount of $1,793,475, will provide additional services to570workers and their families as they transition to new jobs.

On December 20, 2011, the Association of Washington Pulp and Paper Workers announced that the plant’s workers would receive Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which supports job training, relocation assistance and other reemployment services. A National Emergency Grant (NEG) will provide services not available under TAA, including transportation and childcare assistance as workers look for new employment.

“This assistance is a critical resource for Kimberly-Clark workers who are looking for new employment,” Cantwell said. “With the closure of this plant came the loss of hundreds of family wage jobs in the community – jobs that have employed generations of families for 80 years. This emergency workforce assistance will help these workers get back on their feet as they transition to new employment.”

“This announcement is great news for hundreds of affected workers in the Everett area who lost their job through no fault of their own,” Murray said. “This funding will help them get the support they need to get back on job as quickly as possible. I was proud to join with my colleagues to urge approval of this emergency grant.”

“This assistance is critical for the former workers at the Kimberly-Clark plant, many of whom are still struggling to find work,” Larsen said. “This job training and placement assistance will be critical for the workers and their families. The workers at Kimberly-Clark deserved better than to have the plant close, and I will continue working to make sure they get the support they need in this difficult time.”

The WIA’s NEGs are discretionary awards made by the Secretary of Labor when a significant number of workers at a facility are displaced and in need of assistance that can’t be met through standard WIA programs. The WIA’s various services have helped thousands of Washingtonians looking for work. During the last program year, July 2010 to June 2011, more than 364,000 Washington residents were served by WIA-funded programs in some way.