(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor announced a $2.2 million federal emergency grant for the Washington State Employment Security Department to provide employment-related assistance to more than 600 Washington state workers laid off by the Boeing Company.

“Layoffs, particularly of this magnitude, are extremely difficult for families, communities, and the economy, so I’m pleased that the Department of Labor is working with state and local officials to provide critical support for displaced workers in Washington state,” said Senator Murray.  “As our state continues recovering from the recession, it’s never been more important to help impacted men and women re-renter the workforce through retraining and education programs and grants like this one.”  

The emergency federal funding announced today, authorized by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), totals $2,205,753, and $980,847 of that amount is immediately available to the Washington State Employment Security Department.  First passed in 1998, WIA has been due for reauthorization since 2003.  Senators Murray and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) have written a bipartisan WIA reauthorization bill, and are leading the effort to update and improve the existing legislation in the Senate. On July 31, their bill was passed by the HELP Committee by a vote of 18-3.  Read more about the Workforce Investment Act here.