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WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT: GOV. LOWRY SEEKS FEDERAL GRANT THAT COULD HELP THOUSANDS OF BOEING WORKERS

 OLYMPIA, Wash., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Washington state Employment Security Department:
 Gov. Mike Lowry announced today that officials in state government, business and labor have jointly applied for nearly $11 million in federal aid to help laid off Boeing workers. If approved, it would be the largest grant of its kind receive in Washington, and one of the largest ever in the nation.
 "We have the opportunity here to form a tremendous partnership of government, business and labor and make a lasting difference," Lowry said. "This is a major step in helping to diminish the impact of the layoffs for thousands of workers and their communities."
 Lowry plans to meet with officials from the Boeing Co. (BA), the two major unions at Boeing (the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and the Seattle Professional Engineering Employees Association (SPEEA)), and the Washington state Employment Security Department to work out further details on the plan. Lowry also said he plans to hold meetings with local elected officials in affected areas to brief them on the details of the plan.
 The $10.8 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor would be combined with ongoing support from Boeing. The 28-month program would provide assistance to laid-off workers, primarily through three new one-stop, multi-service centers located near existing Boeing facilities. The Washington state Department of Employment Security will be responsible for administering the special federal grant money.
 "This grant would significantly enhance Boeing programs already in place and add important new ones for our laid-off employees," said Larry McKean, Boeing corporate vice president - Human Resources. "We will continue to support this unique partnership between business, labor, community and technical colleges and government," he added.
 "If this grant application is approved quickly, we could have the centers up and running by October," said Washington state Employment Security Department Commissioner Vernon Stoner. "It is critical that we move fast in order to contact the workers as soon as possible after they lose their jobs and still have unemployment benefits to help sustain them while they train or look for work."
 The centers would provide a wide range of services, including testing and assessment, unemployment insurance assistance, referral to community and social services, retraining, entrepreneurial and on-the-job training, job search assistance, job development and placement, career and peer counseling, and educational planning.
 "These multi-service centers would focus the energy and talents of outplacement specialists, union staff, Private Industry Council staff and community college training counselors with the goal of getting workers back into jobs," said Bill Johnson, president of the International Association of Machinists District 751.
 Because Boeing is planning layoffs at least through mid-1994, the program would take in new participants periodically throughout the first 21 months of the grant period. Workers are expected to remain in the program for an average of a year each while they engage in classroom training and other services.
 The Boeing Workers' Re-Employment Program has a commitment from the state community and technical colleges to support worker training. The program would also offer support to encourage participation in long-term training. Passage of the Workforce Employment and Training Act in the last legislative session provided additional community and technical college openings for dislocated workers.
 The funding would come from a U.S. Department of Labor National Reserve Grant under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The grant application was developed by a joint labor-management committee at Boeing and the IAM/Boeing Quality Through Training Program staff and resource support. The committee is made up of representatives from Boeing, IAM, SPEEA, state Employment Security, Private Industry Councils and a consortium of community and technical colleges. It was established in April after Boeing announced substantial downsizing would occur due to jetliner production cuts and reduced defense spending. As of mid-July, more than 3,000 Boeing workers in Washington state have been laid off in 1993.
 "The Labor/Management Committee has been painstakingly thorough in researching and identifying innovative approaches combining private and public resources to provide the best delivery of services to our workers," said Charles Bofferding, executive director of SPEEA.
 -0- 7/28/93
 /CONTACT: John Welsh of the Washington State Employment Security Department, 206-753-5216/
 (BA)


CO: Washington State Employment Security Council; Boeing Co. ST: Washington IN: AIR ARO SU:

SB-JH -- SE011 -- 7025 07/28/93 19:18 EDT
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Date:Jul 28, 1993
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