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Benefits extended for laid off Iron Range plant workers

HOYT LAKES - Laid-off workers of the Mesabi Nugget iron plant in Hoyt Lakes and its sister iron ore processing plant in Chisholm will see their unemployment and training benefits extended, state and federal officials announced Friday.

HOYT LAKES - Laid-off workers of the Mesabi Nugget iron plant in Hoyt Lakes and its sister iron ore processing plant in Chisholm will see their unemployment and training benefits extended, state and federal officials announced Friday.

The U.S. Labor Department extended Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits which are available to workers who lose their jobs because of unfair foreign trade.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development submitted the petition on behalf of Mesabi Nugget and its 200 workers who were laid off earlier this year when operations ceased. The parent company, Steel Dynamics, said in May the operations would remain idle for at least two years.

For workers in approved job training, the approval of the petition grants access for up to 130 weeks of unemployment benefits.

"Extended unemployment benefits will help these workers and their families get through this very difficult time," Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement.

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In addition to providing unemployment benefits to impacted workers, DEED has contracted with the Northeast Minnesota Office of Jobs and Training to assist workers with career planning, job searching and accessing training opportunities through the agency's Dislocated Worker Program. The program is designed to help workers get back to work as quickly as possible and overcome barriers to employment.

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