A $3 million grant has been given to address the layoffs at American Apparel earlier this year.
The California Employment Development Department said Thursday it was allocating money from the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act specifically to workers impacted by the layoffs at American Apparel earlier this year. That money would go toward English language classes, computer skills and other training administered through the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department and the County of Los Angeles Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services.
The funds are expected to help about 600 workers. American Apparel in January laid off some 3,000 employees across its downtown Los Angeles, La Mirada and South Gate facilities following the sale of the company’s intellectual property and some equipment to Gildan Activewear Inc. for $103 million. The status of the workforce ultimately hinged on the buyer and whether all or parts of the business were to be sold. The January cuts were the largest round of layoffs at a single time in the company’s more recent history.
The deal with Gildan did not include the actual operations, which is what triggered the layoffs at American Apparel’s manufacturing facilities earlier in the year and later store employees as the company shuttered its retail operations.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the director of the county’s Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services department attempted to make an appeal to the judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy proceedings to prompt consideration of a deal that would save as many jobs as possible.
American Apparel filed for bankruptcy in late 2016, marking its second go at bankruptcy less than a year after emerging from its first Chapter 11. New owner Gildan has plans to eventually relaunch the American Apparel web site, promising a comeback this summer.
For More Los Angeles Coverage in WWD: