February 17, 2004

Wyden, Smith Announce Employment Aid for Klamath First Bank Workers

As much as $668,790 in grant funds will help provide job training, education, counseling

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced a federal grant for as much as $668,790 to assist workers affected by the closure of the Klamath First Bank in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The Oregon State Board of Education, which will administer the grant, will receive $248,796 initially in Workforce Investment Act emergency grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor. Funds will help to provide employment-related assistance such as individual counseling, career planning, classroom training, job training, job development, relocation assistance, and on-the-job training to approximately 90 participants. "This funding is going to help Oregon families that are in pretty dire straits right now, and it couldn't come at a more critical time for these folks," said Wyden. "Education and training opportunities, as well as job-search assistance, are fundamental to getting them back on their feet." "Unfortunately, the people of Klamath Falls are all too familiar with tragic economic set-backs," said Smith. "Providing educational programs and financial relief to displaced workers is the proactive approach to helping families land on their feet." Klamath First Bancorp closed its local call center late last year.