Unemployment insurance available for power plant workers

PREWITT, N.M. (AP) — State labor officials say workers who are laid off as a result of a planned power plant closure in western New Mexico will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced earlier this year it would close the coal-fired Escalante Station by the end of 2020. Layoffs are expected in March.

State and local officials have said they are concerned about the economic effects the closure will have, especially in a rural region where jobs are scarce.

State Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley said workers who will be forced to look for a new job as a result of the layoffs should have access to a safety net as they transition.

All individuals who are eligible for benefits will have to complete a work search form each week they claim unemployment benefits. All other eligibility requirements must be met.