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U.S. Labor Department grants $4.1M to help Puerto Rico displaced workers

The Bumble Bee plant in Mayagüez announced in May it will close operations this summer. (Credit: lacallerevista.com)

The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded three National Emergency Grants totaling more than $4.1 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources that will assist more than 750 workers affected by recent plant closures and resulting layoffs in Puerto Rico.

The money is split between a $1,928,745 grant to assist more than 400 workers affected by the closure of three Bluewater Defense Inc. locations and of Legacy Pharmaceuticals International, all located in eastern Puerto Rico. As News is my Business first reported, Legacy closed its Humacao plant in March.

The funds will provide employment and training services to prepare dislocated workers for jobs in the advanced manufacturing, financial services, information technology, health care and retail industries.

A $1,061,970 grant will provide employment-related services to about 200 workers affected by the closure of Checkpoint Caribbean Ltd. in Ponce. The funds will provide dislocated workers, many of whom are also eligible to receive Trade Adjustment Assistance, with access to “wrap-around” and supportive services unavailable through the TAA program.

A $1,136,000 grant will assist about 160 workers affected by the closure of Bumble Bee Foods LLC in Mayagüez, as this media outlet first reported. The funds will provide employment and training services to assist the dislocated workers in obtaining jobs in the construction, energy, hospitality, retail and transportation sectors.

“The services provided through these federal grants will help these dislocated workers improve their re-employment prospects by providing training to prepare them for careers in high-demand industries,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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