WASHINGTON–The U.S. Department of Labor today announced initial funding allocations for Trade Adjustment Assistance for states to assist workers who lose their jobs due to outsourcing and foreign trade.
The announcement includes two funding levels for states under the program: one under the current, expanded level of authorized funding, and one at a reduced level that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011, if Congress fails to renew the expanded TAA program authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. If the expanded program is not renewed, states stand to lose approximately $267 million in initial allocations, and thousands of workers could be excluded from the program. Additional reserve funding would be lost as well.
“The Recovery Act has allowed us to serve more Americans through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, giving workers access to essential services in a time of need,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Returning TAA to pre-expansion funding levels and eligibility guidelines would leave a staggering number of workers in states across the country without access to this important program.”
TAA provides workers with the opportunity to obtain the skills, resources and support needed to gain re-employment. Funds are used to provide career training, employment and case management services, and to pay for associated administrative costs. States will receive funds according to these allocations once the department receives its fiscal year 2011 congressional appropriation.
The Recovery Act included a major expansion and reform of the TAA program, and authorized an increase in the maximum amount of TAA funds that may be used for training nationwide, from $220 million to $575 million. If Congress does not renew the expanded program before Jan. 1, 2011, funding will revert to pre-Recovery Act levels, and service industry workers will no longer be covered by the program.
Funds announced today are the initial allocations for fiscal year 2011 for both the expanded and reduced levels. The remaining funds are being held in reserve by the Labor Department for distribution as needed throughout the year.