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Feds Provide Money to Retrain Laid Off Refinery Workers

Todd Vachon / Newsworks.org

ConocoPhillips officials say their Trainer, Pa. refinery will be demolished if no buyer is found by the end of March.org

About 1200 refinery workers in Delaware County will be looking for new jobs once the clock runs out on finding a buyer for the Philadelphia area plants. Sunoco and ConocoPhillips have idled their refineries and say that unless they find a buyer by the end of March, they’re shutting down. Buyers don’t seem to be lining up though, and Delaware County recently began a study on what to do with the site.
On Friday, the Department of Labor announced a $5 million emergency loan to help retrain and provide services to laid off workers. Delaware County officials say the money will help them establish a transition center to provide career services to refinery employees and subcontractors. The loss of the Delaware County refineries could mean more than 15,000 jobs lost in the area, in addition to the actual refinery jobs. ConocoPhillips also has plans to shut down its plant in south Philadelphia. Together, the three plants make up about half of the refinery capacity on the east coast.

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