September 11, 2007


U.S. Labor Secretary Chao informs Senator about department's funding

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo announced today that up to $2 million in federal funding for job assistance programs will be targeted to help former Micron Technology employees. Crapo spoke with Labor Secretary Elaine Chao about the National Emergency Grant being made available to the Idaho employees recently laid off from Micron.

The discretionary funding can be used for skill assessment, career counseling, training, relocation assistance and other needs, and will be distributed through the Idaho Department of Labor. Crapo and the Idaho Delegation have consistently discussed labor issues with Chao and other federal leaders, particularly with concerns centering on unfair trade advantages given to Micron's competitors overseas.

"We want to maintain a level playing field that will allow Micron Technology to grow in the chip and electronics market, but there should also be a safety net should we continue to experience ups and downs of this volatile market," Crapo said. "The assistance will greatly improve the chances these former Micron workers will identify new skills and new employment opportunities that can keep them here in Idaho."

"Micron has been working on several fronts to provide assistance for employees who have been affected by workforce reductions, and the company appreciates Senator Crapo's efforts to support these employees by obtaining this grant," said Pat Otte, Micron Vice President of Human Resources. "Micron continues to do everything it can to help affected employees through this transition."

Crapo said the federal funding, which should be available within 30 days, will begin at $840,000 and could increase to $2 million depending on the need. Former Micron workers in Ada, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee and Payette Counties are eligible to apply for benefits under the program.