government fundingTwelve companies within a variety of industries located in Massachusetts and Connecticut are set to receive over $850,000 in National Emergency Grant money from the U.S. Department of Labor. The assistance proposal was announced in response to a rash of layoffs and job closings in eleven companies in Massachusetts and one company in Connecticut. The money will work to initially continue employment for about 330 employees with additional funds to support an additional 100 employees after the initial increment is dispersed.

The affected companies include: Big Y Food Store, Blackstone Medical Inc, Durham Manufacturing Co., Harvey Industries Inc, MassMutual Financial Group, and TD Banknorth located in Springfield, Massachusetts; Callaway located in Chicopee Golf Co., Massachusetts; Hasbro Inc, located in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts; Pyramid Management Group and Soldier’s Home in Holyoke located in Holyoke, Massachusetts; Russell Corp./Spalding located in West Springfield, Massachusetts; and MeadWestvaco Corp. located in Enfield, Connecticut.

The federal funding is intended to allow laid-off employees to prepare for new jobs and to become re-employed by their recent employer. The funds are to be directly awarded to and disbursed by the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development and to be used for the purposes of job training and supplying other support services in order to prepare the hundreds of ex-employees for new employment in other industries.

The current increment is a part of a larger grant awarded to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in November, 2010. The grant in its entirety will amount to over $2,000,000 with the current disbursement bringing the current total awarded amount to $1,869,680. Continued funding, up to the approved limit, will be released as the state demonstrates further need.

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