The governments of Ontario and Canada are spending almost $60 million to retrain 5,000 older workers who live in communities hit by the recession.

The two governments are spending a combined $58.5 million over three years to provide training and help finding new jobs for people between the ages of 55 and 64.

The money is specifically targeted at hard-hit single-industry towns or areas that are dealing with high unemployment rates.

The federal funding was announced in last January's budget, but Ottawa has not spent any of the money in Ontario before now due to the lack of an agreement.

Ottawa's Human Resources Minister Diane Finley and Ontario's Minister of Training John Milloy are announcing the deal in Oshawa, where the recession has gutted the auto industry.

Labour groups say the funding is an important way to help bridge unemployed older workers to retirement, when they can collect pension and other government benefits.

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