Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson on Friday announced a $25,000 grant to assist workers displaced by the Echo Lake Foods factory fire in Burlington.
“We are working closely with our regional partner, the Southeastern Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, to help these workers find new jobs,” Newson said. “With this grant, the board can initiate services, assisting these workers as they transition to new employment.”
Approximately 300 workers were displaced following a fire Jan 30 that destroyed most of Echo Lake Foods. DWD joined the Racine County Workforce Development Center in providing rapid response services and holding a job fair.
At the rapid response sessions, affected workers received instruction on how to file for unemployment insurance benefits as well as a description of job services available, from help searching for work to training assistance to improve existing skills or provide new job skills for a different occupation. The start-up grants will begin funding services to the affected workers.
The DWD also announced a $25,000 grant to assist the employees who will lose their jobs when a SuperValu distribution center in Pleasant Prairie closes.
In January, SuperValu, Inc., based in Eden Prairie, Minn., filed notice with DWD that it planned to close the center effective May 1, 2013, that approximately 117 workers would be affected and that layoffs would begin this month and continue until the closing date. DWD and the Southeastern WDB also held rapid response sessions for these workers.
The grants brings to $250,000 the amount of supplemental federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding that DWD has distributed to the Southeastern WDB this year for employment and training services to dislocated workers.