Solyndra Bill Increases Due to Highly Skilled Workforce

Department of Labor says “Oh, yes!

The Labor Department today announced that it had approved Trade Adjustment Assistance for the former employees of the bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra.

That means all of the firm’s 1,100 ex-employees are eligible for federal aid packages, including job retraining and income assistance. The department has valued packages at about $13,000 a head.

Taxpayers will have to cough up yet another $14.3 million as a result of Solyndra’s bankruptcy. They are already on the hook for $528 million in federal loan guarantees to the company that are unlikely to ever be paid back.

Then, of course, we have the justification for this:

The TAA request was first made on Sept. 2, just days after Solyndra went bankrupt. The Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, a public-private group that aids in job retraining programs, made the request on behalf of the employees.

“We are very pleased,” said Patti Castro, interim director of the board. “These workers are highly skilled but they need the retraining available through this.”

These “highly skilled” workers need retraining? No. They do not. Either they are not highly skilled–and they need to learn some skills as a result, or they are highly skilled–and this retraining is simply an excuse on the part of the ACWIB to get some cash from Obama’s stash.

To be fair, I suppose there is a third option: these workers are highly skilled at tasks which have absolutely no applicability in the wider employment market. If this is true, then it makes things make much more sense–like how the company could burn through millions with nothing to show for it.