Obama, Durbin Announce Department of Labor Will Help Displaced Maytag Workers if Herrin Plant Closes

By:  Barack Obama II
Date: June 23, 2006
Location: Washington, DC

Obama, Durbin Announce Department of Labor Will Help Displaced Maytag Workers if Herrin Plant Closes

U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Department of Labor (DOL) will provide displaced workers with job placement and training assistance if the Maytag plant in Herrin, Illinois closes.

"Obviously, my hope is that the Maytag plant remains open, but I'm happy that the Department of Labor is prepared to do everything it can to help these workers land on their feet," said Obama. "The Maytag plant has long been the backbone of Herrin's economy, and if it closes we must all do our part to keep this community intact."

"Last month, Senator Obama and I asked the Department of Labor to be prepared to immediately assist displaced workers if the Maytag plant in Illinois closed down," said Durbin. "Today, we received assurances that if the plant decides to close, the 1,000 workers in Herrin, Illinois will receive critical assistance to help them find new jobs."

On May 10, Whirpool announced that it would be closing laundry appliance plants in Illinois, Arkansas and Iowa. The Illinois facility located in Herrin employs 1,000 people and is the backbone of the local economy. Shortly after this announcement, Senators Obama and Durbin wrote to DOL Secretary Elaine L. Chao requesting that the agency be prepared to immediately assist any workers displaced as a result of these closings.

Earlier today, Obama and Durbin were informed by Secretary Chao's office that the DOL is prepared to provide Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to displaced workers in these communities. TAA will help identify appropriate training programs for displaced workers, and help them obtain reemployment at the conclusion of the training program. To ensure workers are referred to appropriate job openings and placed in jobs that utilize their highest skills, employment counseling, resume writing, interview skills workshops, and job search and relocation allowances will be provided.


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