Congresswoman Chellie Pingree today announced that workers laid off last year from manufacturing jobs in Brunswick and Freeport will be eligible for increased retraining and job placement benefits. The workers have been qualified under the U.S. Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. The program provides a variety of benefits to workers who have lost their jobs due to competition from foreign suppliers or shifts in production to facilities outside the United States.
"This is a tough time for Maine workers to lose their jobs and we need to do everything we can to help them find their next job," Pingree said. "The benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance will help workers get retrained and will help with the expenses that come with looking for work."
In Brunswick, workers for Cooper Wiring Devices were laid off after production of electrical components was shifted to Mexico. In Freeport, some employees at L. L. Bean lost their jobs when the company began importing pet accessories like dog beds from foreign suppliers, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.
Altogether, Maine workers will be eligible for over $3.5 million in TAA assistance this year.
Benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program include:
· Employment services that provide counseling, testing, and job placement assistance
· Training benefits in approved training programs, including paid tuition and some training expenses
· Job Search and Relocation Allowances for travel expenses to job interviews and relocation expenses
· Health Coverage Tax Credit -- to provide assistance with paying health insurance premiums
· Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) or Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) - a wage subsidy program for people who are 50 years old at the time of reemployment