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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

$3 Million Grant to Fund Training for Laid Off American Apparel Workers

Around 600 former American Apparel workers who were laid off this year will receive new job skills training thanks to a $3 million California Employment Development Department award announced Thursday.

The award goes to several local government agencies, including the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department and County of Los Angeles Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. It is specifically meant for retraining workers affected by the bankrupt clothing manufacturer’s demise this year.

“These funds will help those workers who lost jobs rebuild their skills and find long-term employment in growing industries,” EDD Director Patrick W. Henning said in a statement.

Re-training includes vocational training, computer skills training, and English-language proficiency classes.

American Apparel laid off more than 3,000 employees from its downtown Los Angeles, La Mirada, and South Gate locations in January. The company was acquired by Montreal-based Gildan Activewear Inc. for $88 million in February.

The acquisition of American Apparel included the company’s intellectual property and some of its equipment, but Gildan assembles most of its products in Central America.

In order to deal with the displacement of workers, the city set up rapid-response teams to link resources for the newly unemployed.

“The slot cost per participant is $5,000, which is why we’re helping 600 workers,” Jaime Francisco, spokesman for L.A.’s Economic and Workforce Development Department, said. The re-training efforts are expected to run until July 2018.

Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at snarayan@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.

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