Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Refinery workers get grant

Source: The News Journal

By Jonathan Starkey

October 14, 2010

Delaware's labor department has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help get workers who were laid off when Valero closed the Delaware City Refinery back on their feet.

Much of the money will fund on-the-job training for 467 former Valero workers who are expected to take new jobs at the plant, now owned by Connecticut-based PBF Energy.

Hundreds are working in Delaware City now to help overhaul the plant for a spring restart.

Valero announced plans to permanently close the Delaware City Refinery last November, and laid off about 550 people.

PBF has said employment should grow to 600 full-time workers by April, including about 450 plant employees.

The 80 or so former refinery workers who will remain unemployed should also be helped by the grant money, through such services as skills assessments, career counseling and training, the labor department said.

All in all, the grant money is expected to help 546 people affected by the refinery's closing.

"Losing a job hurts. Beyond providing wages, our jobs are so much a part of our identity. These funds will help workers get back into the job market, and back to lifelong career paths," Hilda L. Solis, the U.S. secretary of labor, said in a statement.

Delaware's federal delegation -- Republican Rep. Mike Castle and Democratic Sens. Tom Carper and Ted KAUFMAN -- issued a joint statement saying, "The state's Department of Labor helped pull together a strong application and we worked together to help make the case that this funding could make a real difference."

Delaware will get access to $1.5 million of the funds immediately.

The money comes from a discretionary fund managed by the secretary of labor.

Print this Page E-mail this Page