WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that displaced RG Steel workers will receive additional funds from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to get retraining for new careers. A National Emergency Grant (NEG) of $41,347 has been awarded to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) to continue provide reemployment services to workers affected by layoffs at six RG Steel/Severstal facilities (four in Ohio and two in West Virginia), as well as at Kinder Morgan, a Severstal supplier, located in Pennsylvania.
“RG Steel’s bankruptcy filing and subsequent layoffs have left hundreds of Ohioans without a paycheck or a clear future,” Brown said. “We should do all we can to get these workers back on their feet. These funds from the Department of Labor will help ensure that additional displaced workers from RG Steel can get the retraining and job search assistance needed to get back on their feet.”
Last week, Brown joined senators from West Virginia and Maryland to send letters to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman asking them to ensure that eligible RG Steel employees and retirees receive benefits to help them transition to new jobs, if needed, and also purchase affordable health coverage. RG Steel filed for bankruptcy on May 31st and the bankruptcy could have serious consequences for the company’s 4,000 employees’ and families, as well as retirees’ health care and pension benefits. The Senators have been working to make sure that eligible employees and retirees receive vital support, including Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) benefits, to help keep them and their families on their feet. These programs are lifelines to employees who lose their jobs and are training for new employment while still trying to support their families.
The TAA program ensures that workers who lose their jobs and financial security as a result of outsourcing to foreign countries have an opportunity to transition to new jobs and emerging sectors of the economy. The HCTC promotes private health insurance access for recipients, and makes health insurance coverage more affordable to workers who lose their jobs due to trade and offshoring. The letters Brown sent can be seen here and here.