Governor awards grant to help laid-off workers


MONTGOMERYGov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $60,000 grant to continue efforts to help workers who have lost their jobs due to downsizing or plant closings.


The grant to the Alabama Department of Labor will help support the department’s participation in the state’s Rapid Response Team. Coordinated by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the multi-agency team assisted 5,440 workers in 2013.


“Providing timely information, assistance and resources to workers who have lost their jobs can help them quickly get on the path to a new career,” said Bentley. “I commend the state Rapid Response Team for their efforts.”


The team, including a representative from the Alabama Department of Labor, travels to sites of company layoffs and holds meetings with affected employees, providing information of available services through the Alabama Career Center System. The information covers unemployment compensation, training and educational opportunities, medical insurance and other issues. Workers also may receive help with job searches and resume preparation at their local Alabama Career Center.


The team often uses the state’s mobile career center vehicle, which can be driven to layoff or closing sites to provide affected workers with career center services including access to computer workstations to find and apply for jobs online.


The Alabama Department of Economic Affairs is administering the grant with funds made available to the state through the federal Workforce Investment Act. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, workforce development, energy conservation, economic development, water resource management and recreation.