A bankrupt Massachusetts solar company that received more than $30 million in state funds continues to cost taxpayers money in the form of special unemployment assistance from the Department of Labor, according to a Wednesday press release.
Labor announced a $408,403 National Emergency Grant increment for continued assistance to roughly 320 workers affected by the 2011 closure of Evergreen Solar Inc.
This latest block of aid brings the total funds awarded for the project to $738,179.
“The former workers of Evergreen Solar continue to face significant obstacles in finding good jobs in their region,” Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said in a statement. “This funding will make it possible for these workers to receive training and reemployment services to help them find good jobs.”
Evergreen Solar received an estimated $31 million in state funding from the administration of Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Massachusetts taxpayers were left on the hook for nearly $10 million of that aid when the company went bankrupt and laid off roughly 800 employees.
The affected Evergreen workers are also receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits, according to the Labor Department press release.
The TAA program is administered by the Department of Labor and aids workers who lose their jobs or have hours or wages reduced due to foreign competition.
Aggressive competition from China has been blamed for the downfall of a number of domestic solar companies in recent years, including several that received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants as part of President Barack Obama’s green energy initiative such as Solyndra.
The Labor Department approved Evergreen for TAA benefits in March 2011.
Meanwhile, the Boston Herald reported last year that former Evergreen CEO Richard Feldt was selling his five-bedroom, two-plus acre manse for $9.9 million.
That is almost $1.4 million more than the selling price of the company’s factory.