Senator Jay Rockefeller today announced $450,777 in federal funding to make sure state workforce development agencies can continue to provide reemployment services to workers living in West, Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania who were affected by layoffs at six RG Steel facilities.
"The layoffs at RG Steel impacted hundreds of West Virginia workers and their families," said Rockefeller. "I am pleased this grant will help these workers with job training and other services they need to find new employment. Along with the Trade Adjustment Assistance and Health Coverage Tax Credit benefits these employees were recently approved for, reemployment services are a critical part of our commitment to help in this difficult time."
Rockefeller announced on October 9 that former employees let go from RG Steel's administrative office in Wheeling and Mountain State Carbon's coke plant in Beech Bottom will receive Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) benefits, which he helped to secure. To date, all TAA petitions for RG Steel's facilities have been approved, including in Wheeling, Follansbee, and Beech Bottom in West Virginia, and Warren, Martins Ferry, Yorkville, Mingo Junction, and Steubenville in Ohio. Together these benefits provide income support, job training, and health care benefits to employees laid off as a result of RG Steel's bankruptcy.
RG Steel filed for bankruptcy on May 31, and has sold off several of its facilities and assets and laid off thousands of employees.
The funding for this grant is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's National Emergency Grant (NEG) Program. An NEG grant was approved for up to $984,248 to assist employees on October 12, 2010 and $492,124 was initially released. A second increment of $41,347 was released on June 6, 2012 and the project was extended through June 30, 2013. With the release of today's funding increment of $450,777, this project has received a total of $984,248. This grant covers employees from the West Virginia counties of Brooke, Hancock, Marshall and Ohio; the Ohio counties of Belmont, Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning and Monroe; and Allegheny County in Pennsylvania.