U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (all D-W.Va.) today announced that West Virginia will receive $1,696,159 in Trade Adjustment Assistance funding, which helps pay the cost of training, job search allowances, relocation allowances, and employment and case management services for workers who have lost their jobs because of foreign trade. Earlier this year, West Virginia received its first allocation of Trade Adjustment Assistance funding, totaling $4,448,472.
"Too many West Virginia families know what it's like to have their jobs outsourced to other countries," said Senator Rockefeller. "This funding is great news for many of these West Virginians, and I fought very hard to make sure this vital assistance will continue. Over the past two years, I have spoken with workers and small businesses across the state to hear first-hand about the impact of unfair trade deals, and learn about ideas to support our manufacturers and create jobs. I will always fight for our workers -- to help them get the job training they need, land good paying jobs, and support their families."
"American workers who have lost their jobs because of foreign trade need our support," Senator Manchin said. "As I said last year when I voted against trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea, I am totally opposed to deals that trade good American jobs for no jobs at all. We need to create jobs here in America and we should do all we can to assist the American workers who are hurting."
"By investing in our workers -- in their education, their training, and their skills and talents -- they can compete and win in a global economy," said Rahall, who has opposed so-called free trade agreements that fail to protect American workers and domestic manufacturing. "Many Administrations -- both Republican and Democratic -- are quick to make grand promises about these so-called free trade agreements, and not until after the fact do we know their tragic costs -- factories shutting down, jobs moving overseas, unsustainable trade imbalances, and lower wages and benefits. To soften the blow, we must retain some measure of support for displaced workers to chart a new course and to provide for their families."
* Senators Rockefeller and Manchin voted against trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea on October 12, 2011.
* In September 2011, Senators Rockefeller and Manchin voted to renew and extend Trade Adjustment Assistance.