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Senator McGuire helps secure grant to retrain North Coast timber workers

Press Release from Mike McGuire’s Office


SACRAMENTO – More than 100 people lost their jobs when the Korbel Sawmill closed its doors recently. To help employees transition and train for new jobs, the California Employment Development Department has awarded a $492,000 grant for Humboldt Workforce Investments.

“Humboldt’s prosperity is a priority and it’s critical that the State is an active partner to provide retraining opportunities for this highly skilled workforce and I’m grateful for the Employment Development Department for their investment in the North Coast,” Senator McGuire said. “Humboldt Workforce Investments is an amazing partner and I'm looking forward to working with them in the months to come.”

The workers lost their jobs when the Green Diamond Resources Company closed its California Redwood Company mill in Korbel. Most of the laid off employees had worked in the lumber industry for more than 25 years and were in need of career help and guidance.

“Even with California’s continuing economic recovery, businesses can still be impacted by changes in the economy,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning, Jr. “This grant will provide critical new skills training for these workers  speeding up their return to the workplace and minimizing the closure’s economic impact on the region.”

The grant will fund training for the former mill workers to learn vocational skills used in career fields such as heavy equipment operators, truck and trailer repair, X-ray and MRI technicians, lineman, and high‑tech manufacturing. About half of the laid off workers will participate in custom training for employment at Wing Inflatables, a California-based inflatable boat company. The workers will then receive an additional six months of on-the-job training.