The U.S. Department of Labor has authorized a $3. 5 million National Emergency Grant to provide re-employment and support services to some 850 workers laid off when Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. closed its Union City, Tennessee, plant in July 2011.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workplace Development will administer the grant money to provide job training, job search and relocation allowances, income support and health insurance premium assistance, the Tennessee Labor Department said in a news release.
About 70 of the workers who will receive assistance come from Hamilton Ryker Group, a staffing firm that provided tire processors, laboratory technicians, administrative support and professional personnel to the Union City facility, the state agency said.
The Labor Department approved the Union City workers for Trade Adjustment Assistance, or TAA, in April 2011. A total of 1,983 workers were affected by the plant closure, but federal TAA guidelines allow financial aid to only half the affected workers in any plant closure, said a Tennessee Labor Department spokesman.
Goodyear announced Feb. 10 that it planned to close the Union City facility by year-end. It had been in danger of a shutdown since September 2009, when it became the only union-organized Goodyear plant in the United States that was not covered by a nonclosure agreement between the company and the United Steelworkers.
Opened in 1968, the Union City plant had a production capacity of 12 million passenger and light truck tires annually.