Federal officials announce $2.5 million grant to help laid-off Lummi workers in fishing industry

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a $2,542,924 National Emergency Grant increment to provide employment-related services to 443 workers who are members of the Lummi Nation and have been affected by fishing industry layoffs in Bellingham.

“The additional federal funds awarded today to the Lummi Nation will enable these dislocated workers to continue to receive critical job training and placement services,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, in a press release. “This assistance will help qualify and connect these workers with jobs in growing local industries.”

The grant provides dislocated worker services including literacy education, basic skills training, career counseling, resume writing, on-the-job training and preparation for professional certifications.

On Oct. 20, 2010, the labor department awarded a grant to the Lummi Nation for up to $3,390,568, with $847,644 released initially to serve about 300 workers. The new increment completes the total amount of the original award and serves additional workers, for a total of 443.

Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen, who represents Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, applauded the announcement.

“This grant will help hundreds of Lummi Nation fisherman get the training and help they need to get back to work,” Larsen said in a statement. “Investing in the skills and knowledge of these workers will put them in a better position to find jobs and help rebuild the local economy.”

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.

More information is at http://www.doleta.gov/NEG.

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