February 17, 2004

Wyden, Smith Announce Employment Aid for Viking Industries Workers

Up to $245,345 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 $245,345 to assist workers affected by the closure of Viking Industries in Gresham, Oregon. The grant of Workforce Investment Act emergency funds is being awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to the Oregon State Board of Education, which will administer the project. The 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 50 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, will help those who have lost their jobs to find new and better ones in the coming days." "Layoffs are painful wounds for Oregon's hardworking families and communities," said Smith. "Job programs, education and financial reparations are the best ways to heal Oregonians, and get them back into the workplace." Viking Industries, a vinyl window and door manufacturer, faced major layoffs in December 2003.