DEXTER — State and municipal officials were “delighted” to learn Tuesday that Dexter will receive a $3.19 million grant for the startup and operation of a temporary transition center for dislocated Dexter Shoe workers.
“It is great news,” Sen. Susan Collins said Tuesday, during a telephone call from her Washington, D.C., office. Collins said she had met with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on three separate occasions to push for the funds to help the shoe workers.
Officials at Dexter Shoe Co. announced earlier this fall that the company would cease its manufacturing operation in Maine and would permanently lay off 475 workers in November and December.
Dexter’s whole economy was based on the shoe company, Collins said.
Town Manager Robert Simpson said Tuesday that the grant would help those employees who will loose their jobs within the next two months.
“Without that money the situation would have been bleak,” Simpson said, adding that the community alone could not have provided the full help needed. “ [The funds] are a key factor in helping that process.”
Of the entire grant, $1,773,040 will be made available immediately, according to Collins. The application for the funds from the DOL’s National Emergency Grant account was made jointly by the Maine Department of Labor and the Tri-County Workforce Development Area, she said.
“Secretary Chao was quite sympathetic to the need for this center by the people who’ve been so adversely affected by the closure of Dexter Shoe,” Collins said. “This center will help both Dexter workers and the community recover.”
The Maine Department of Labor expects that the $3.19 million will provide all the funds needed for the startup and operation of the center for 27 months. The center is expected to aid an estimated 583 dislocated workers through the center’s life span from a convenient location at 26 Main St. in Dexter.
About half of the $3.19 million will be used for operational costs and the remaining money will provide services to dislocated workers such as training, career planning, job-search assistance, placement services, resume development services, and individual and group counseling, according to Collins.
The funds also can be used to provide supportive services to dislocated workers including transportation, child and other dependent care, general and job-related clothing assistance, for medical and health needs, relocation and emergency shelter assistance and other emergency needs, she said.
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|