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July 17, 2009

Support Services Available for Plant Workers Affected by Closure of Englee Fish Plant

The Provincial Government has committed to address the workforce adjustment needs of workers who have been displaced as a result of the closure of the Englee fish plant. The Englee fish plant has been closed for several years as a result of structural deficiencies and will not re-open. Displaced workers are now eligible for measures the Provincial Government has in place to help individuals adjust to the permanent closure of the fish plant.

�It is critical that workers in rural areas who may require transitional supports including employment assistance, have opportunities made available to them to gain employment, and have access to programs and services which will allow them to better prepare themselves for future employment opportunities,� said the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. �Municipal Affairs will work closely with the town, and government partners to create work experiences which provide a lasting benefit to the community and support economic development for the region.�

�It is unfortunate that the plant in Englee had to close,� said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. �However, our government has put a workforce adjustment program in place for displaced plant workers. While we realize that it does not replace their jobs, the people of the community are encouraged to work with the Provincial Government and avail of all the services.�
The Integrated Transition Strategy for Displaced Plant Workers was established in 2006 to respond to communities and individuals who require assistance when fish plants have been designated as permanently closed. Workforce measures to assist individuals who may require assistance will include:

  • Short-term job creation through the Fish Plant Worker Employment Program which will provide a short-term solution to help workers deal with their immediate financial needs. Eligible individuals will be entitled to a wage rate of $9.00 hour;
  • Wage subsidy to support transition to other jobs;
  • Transition support services through the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment to help displaced workers develop an individualized transition plan to include access to labour market information, retraining options, counseling on relevant provincial and federal programs concerning employment opportunities, resume writing, job search, training, wage subsidies and self-employment supports;
  • Retraining through public, private and non-profit training institutions; and,
  • Regional economic diversification through programs made available through the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development.

�Officials will immediately begin work with the union to ensure that displaced workers and their spouses have access to important information concerning all available services and programs,� said Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human, Resources, Labour and Employment. �We will work with regional, social and economic partners to minimize the impacts on the region by ensuring individuals have access to labour market supports designed specifically for the unique needs of the people of the area. Individuals seeking employment assistance or advice should contact the department to discuss the various supports available to them.�

�The Provincial Government has a comprehensive suite of programming and extensive resources in place to support local businesses and economic development organizations to strengthen and diversify the economy of Englee and surrounding area,� said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. �We look forward to working with community officials and other stakeholders to advance initiatives that contribute to the sustained long term economic growth of the region.�

Officials with the Department of Municipal Affairs will convene a meeting with stakeholders in the next couple of weeks to discuss short-term job creation programs. Applications and program administration guidelines for the Fish Plant Worker Employment Program (same as Community Enhancement Employment Program) can be found at or may be obtained by calling the Department of Municipal Affairs toll-free at 1-866-508-5500.

The Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment will work with Service Canada and the Employment Assistance Service (EAS) office to establish a transition outreach office by mid-August to provide local access to support services. Affected workers may contact 709-861-3041 or toll free, 1-800-563-6600 for additional information.

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Media contacts:

Heather MacLean
Director of Communications
Department of Municipal Affairs
709-729-1983, 697-4137
Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
09-729-3733, 690-8403
Jennifer Collingwood
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 690-2498
Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290

2009 07 17                               9:35 a.m.

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