State lands $4 million grant to aid autoworkers

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded the Indiana Department of Workforce Development a $4 million grant on Wednesday to help autoworkers make the transition into alternate careers.

Indiana will lead a three-state partnership with the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to research methods to help them make the transition.

“The Midwest has bore the brunt of the upheaval in the domestic automobile industry,” DWD Commissioner Teresa Voors said in a written statement. “This tri-state partnership will help the automakers and autoworkers in our states arm themselves with the best practices and skills needed to flourish.”

The study will focus on identifying new skills and training requirements for a more efficient auto industry and the impact the auto parts supply chain could have on the auto industry’s transformation. It also will specify alternate careers for dislocated auto and auto-parts workers, with an emphasis on “green” jobs, and identify training opportunities and the skills needed to compete for those jobs.

DWD and its partners expect to begin the project in December and to have a final report finished in 2011.

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