Federal Funds Will Help Respond to Chrysler Layoffs,
Dislocated Workers & Families

In response to the recent layoffs at the Fenton Chrysler plant in Missouri, U.S.
Senator Kit Bond today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will
release more than $700,000 in National Emergency Grant (NEG) federal funds for
employment-related assistance to former plant workers.


Bond said, “The
Chrysler layoffs were devastating to the hard working families that depend on
Chrysler for their livelihoods.  It is critical that all of us – federal, state
and local partners – work together to help the displaced workers and bring new
jobs to these communities.”


Last Friday, as
part of its bankruptcy filing , Chrysler announced that it will close and seek
to sell its 2.3 million square-foot plant in Fenton, Mo, which made the Dodge
Ram and Grand Caravan.  Already hit hard by the economic downturn, Bond stressed
that the Chrysler layoffs have a major impact on both local plant workers and
the local Missouri economy including auto suppliers, restaurants, grocery stores
and other local businesses. 


To help assist
dislocated workers and families, the DOL’s Employment and Training
Administration (ETA) will release $771,713 in federal funds through the NEG
program to the Missouri Division of Workforce Development. NEG grants are
discretionary funds awarded by the Secretary of Labor that temporarily expand
service capacity at the State and local levels in response to significant
dislocation events, such as a massive company layoff. In April, the ETA
initially released $958,608 to help approximately 506 workers. The new funds
will help expand assistance to approximately 1,200 workers affected by the
recent layoffs. 


The federal
funds will help support laid-off Chrysler employees throughout Missouri,
especially those in the counties of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis,
Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls,
Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Warren and St. Louis


Bond’s office is
participating in a new taskforce which includes union leadership, local
government, businesses and the local chamber of commerce to help support
displaced Chrysler workers and families.  Throughout his career, Bond has worked
in partnership with state, local and county officials to invest in
infrastructure and technology to make the Fenton plant one of the premier
manufacturing faculties in the nation.  In 2002, Bond secured $4 million in
federal funds for the I-44 Fenton Industrial Corridor.