State employment officials are asking the federal government for $4.5 million to help retrain Boeing workers who are laid off this year.
The state is seeking additional federal funds to supplement a $10.2 million grant from 1993 to open two Boeing re-employment centers.
Gary Gallwas, a deputy assistant commissioner with the state Employment Security Department, said the additional money would help retrain at least 1,200 laid-off Boeing workers.
Gallwas said the agency was submitting the request to the U.S. Labor Department and should have a reply in three weeks.
He said there are enough funds from the original grant to retrain about 800 more workers.
“We are all trying to work together to deal with a bad situation,” he said. “We are hoping to be prepared for the worst possible scenario.”
Boeing is expected to start announcing the layoffs March 24. A few weeks ago it forecast 7,000 layoffs companywide this year, with a reduction of 6,500 jobs in the Puget Sound area. Fifty workers at Boeing’s Spokane plant are being laid off.