Maine U.S. Reps. praise support for workers affected by BNAS closure

March 1st, 2010 · 

Today, Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree praised the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcement that the State of Maine will receive a $2,497,927 National Emergency Grant (NEG) to serve an additional 400 workers affected by the closure of Naval Air Station Brunswick.

“National Emergency Grants are a vital lifeline to the people of Maine, and the release of this funding is very welcome news,” said Michaud. “While nothing can replace a job, this funding will provide Maine with additional resources to help those who are in the process of transitioning to new jobs and career paths,” said Michaud.

This supplemental NEG award of $2,497,927 follows an initial planning grant of $1,273,628 awarded in June 2005, along with a $2 million NEG in February of 2008. This brings total funding to date for this project to $5,771,555 and the total number of workers served under this project to 700.

“This grant will help make sure unemployed Maine workers don’t have to wait longer for the benefits they deserve,” said Pingree. “We have to make sure we do what’s needed to get Mainers back to work, but this will offer them some security in the meantime.”

The NEG will be administered by the Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. and the Maine Department of Labor. The geographic areas covered by this funding are: a 50-mile radius surrounding the Naval Air Station Brunswick, including Androscoggin, Cumberland, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and York counties.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these supplemental funds will continue the delivery of re-employment assistance to some of the original 300 workers and will provide services to an additional 400 workers. The grant will fund strategies to minimize the time BRAC-impacted workers are unemployed and assist them in upgrading their skills to attract potential employers. These workers will be offered services including assessment, counseling, case management, job training, job development, relocation assistance and job placement.