Laid off GM Lordstown workers and others approved for training assistance


By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday $875,000 in National Dislocated Worker Grant funding to assess workforce needs after the second round of layoffs at the General Motors plant in Lordstown.

The funding, to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, will also assist three additional, unnamed Northeast Ohio suppliers that work with General Motors.

GM and other employers have been certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance, enabling them to seek training through that program in order to find comparable re-employment, the labor department said.

The dislocated worker funding will mostly give the workers employment and training services and supportive services not available through the TAA program, the labor department said.

These grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.

About 344 jobs were eliminated at four companies that supply GM Lordstown as a result of the loss of the second shift, according to Vindicator files. It’s not known whether those are among the three companies also being assisted by the dislocated worker grant funding.

Jamestown Industries in Austintown, which produces bumpers for the GM Lordstown, laid off 25 people. Source Providers in Austintown, which does warehousing and logistics for GM, laid off 150. Magna-Lordstown Seating Systems, which makes seats, laid off 86 people. And Lordstown Seating estimated that 83 jobs would be affected.

U.S. Rep Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th and U.S Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Avon, said in a statement the grant will provide employment and training services to about 337 of the 1,686 workers affected by the job losses at the GM plant and the suppliers.

“These cutbacks were no fault of the workers, who are the best our nation has to offer,” Ryan said.

“I will continue to fight in Congress to make sure that every single worker at the Lordstown facility is taken care of until they can be hired back, or find work elsewhere.”

He added, “I will also keep up the pressure on the Trump administration and GM leadership to take any and all steps necessary to assure the facility has a place in our community.

“My goal is and will remain a fully staffed, robust production facility at GM Lordstown. The economic well-being of Northeast Ohio depends on it,” he said.

Brown criticized GM for laying off thousands of workers in the past two years “all the while making record profits and reaping the rewards of the tax bill,”

GM Lordstown laid off 1,200 workers when it eliminated the third shift last year and another 1,200 workers when it eliminated the second shift in June.

Dave Green, president of United Auto Workers Union Local 1112, said he is “honored and proud that we have representatives that are actually fighting for us.”

“Obviously people want to come back to work. They want to continue to build cars like they’ve been doing for most of these folks more than a decade. With our uncertainty right now, this gives then another opportunity to prepare for the worst and get retrained.”

“This grant is a positive step, and I’m hopeful it will help workers who have been laid off get the resources and training they need to find new jobs,” said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican. “I remain disappointed by GM’s decision to cut another shift at the Lordstown plant and will continue to push the company to reinvest in the plant. I’ve had the chance to visit that plant and meet with the exceptionally skilled workers there that produce world-class automobiles. In the coming weeks, I will meet with GM CEO Mary Barra again to encourage the company to reinvest in these workers and this plant.”

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