The U.S. Department of Labor on October 13 announced a $3,511,254 grant to assist approximately 546 workers affected by layoffs at Valero Energy Corporation located in Delaware City, Del.
"Losing a job hurts. Beyond providing wages, our jobs are so much a part of our identity. These funds will help workers get back into the job market, and back to lifelong career paths," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Workers will have the opportunity to upgrade their skills to obtain jobs similar to those they lost or pursue new careers in other fields."
Awarded to the Delaware Department of Labor, this grant will provide affected workers with access to dislocated worker services that may include skills assessment, individual career counseling and occupational skills training. The Delaware Department of Labor will work closely with the Delaware City Refining Company LLC, which purchased the Valero refinery. On-the-job training will be used to upgrade the skills of some of the former Valero workers to meet the skill needs required for the new processes and equipment that will be put into place at the upgraded refinery. The remaining affected workers will take part in skills assessments. These will identify current skills and interests that can be transferred to new careers, and allow workers to enter training that meets the demands of other local industries.
On September 14, 2009, Valero Energy Corporation issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice stating that some of its employees would be laid off. A subsequent announcement in November 2009 informed workers that the entire facility would close on January 22, 2010.
Of the $3,511,254 announced on October 13, $1,516,084 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance.
National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.