WASHINGTON – Just months after one of the largest structure fires in North Carolina’s history, at QVC Rocky Mount Inc.’s Distribution Center in December 2021, thousands of workers found themselves facing unemployment. In February 2022, 1,953 fell victim as layoffs began, prompting the U.S. Department of Labor to respond to help affected workers in 10 counties find new employment opportunities.
Today, the department announced the initial release of $1.3 million in National Dislocated Worker Grant funds for the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions to provide workforce employment and training services to dislocated QVC workers in Beaufort, Bertie, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pitt and Wilson counties.
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the award is the initial release of up to $4 million available to support retraining and skills development of these workers.
Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, an Employment Recovery Grant in response to a Mass Layoff or Closure provides assistance in areas experiencing major economic dislocations that result in workforce needs exceeding available resources. All 10 counties impacted by the QVC Distribution Center closure are considered distressed communities based upon factors such as median household income, average unemployment rate, percentage growth in population, and adjusted property tax base per capita.