More than 600 workers who lost their jobs as a result of the merger of Northwest and Delta airlines will get a helping hand from the federal government as they look for work.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday that it has won a $2.6 million grant to help the former workers.

The money, from the U.S. Department of Labor's Dislocated Worker Program, will go for skills assessment, basic skills and occupational training and career counseling. The services will be provided by Dakota-Scott Workforce Services.

"Many laid-off workers need continued support as they look for work, even as we are seeing some signs of recovery in the economic picture," Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy said in a prepared statement. "This grant is a strong step forward toward helping affected individuals find a new job and get their career back on track."

Laid-off NWA workers who aren't yet enrolled in the Dislocated Worker Program should call Helene Woods at 651-554-5908, or e-mail her at helene. Information also is available at this Web page: