Today, Representative Bill Owens announced he is an original co-sponsor of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Extension Act of 2014 (H.R. 4163). The legislation would extend for an additional seven years provisions in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act that expired December 31, 2013.
TAA provides benefits to workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade, including individualized training plans, on-the-job training, and allowances for expenses associated with re-employment. According to the Department of Labor, 138,477 workers have participated in TAA training over the past 5 years. In fiscal year 2012, 71% of the workers who participated in the program were re-employed. After six months, 91% remained on the job.
"As international trade continues to grow, transition support will play a vital role in maintaining a viable and competitive American workforce," Rep. Bill Owens said. "This legislation will help provide American workers the tools necessary to adjust and succeed in a global economy."
Despite the fact that the national unemployment rate hovers at about 6.7%, the Department of Labor estimates there are nearly 4 million open jobs in the U.S., including about 3,000 in New York's 21st Congressional District. Programs like TAA can equip job seekers with the skills necessary to succeed in these available opportunities.
"There are good jobs available but they require a trained workforce to fill them," Rep. Bill Owens said. "TAA provides the training and support that trade-affected workers need to return to the workforce and fill these types of jobs. The TAA Extension Act would safeguard this important opportunity for many American workers through the year 2020."
On March 6, 2014, Rep. Owens joined 28 other original co-sponsors, all members of the New Democrat Coalition, in introducing H.R. 4163.