Sen. Brown Announces Worker Adjustment Assistance for Approximately 100 Displaced Workers in Cleveland

New Federal Funds Will Provide Support to Trade-Affected Workers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that approximately 100 workers at Premier Manufacturing Corporation are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).  Certification was approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Losing a job can devastate families and affect whole communities,” Brown said. “These resources will help ensure that displaced manufacturing workers in Cleveland have the financial support and training opportunities to get a fresh start.”

Premier Manufacturing Corporation produced fan guards and motor mounts. Increased imports have resulted in steep declines in sales and production at the Cuyahoga County company. According to the Department of Labor, a significant number of the affected employees are fifty years of age or older. All Premier Manufacturing workers who were totally or partially separated from employment on or after April 11, 2010 are eligible to apply for assistance.

Trade Adjustment Assistance is a federal program that provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose work hours and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports. The program extends benefits including training for employment in another job or career, income support, job search allowances, and relocation allowances. Qualified workers may quickly return to employment through a combination of these services.

In 2009, Congress made important reforms to the TAA program, improving efficiency, and improving access to the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). Congress also expanded eligibility to service workers, and to workers whose jobs have been moved offshore, regardless of whether the United States has a bilateral trade agreement with the source country.  However, these reforms expired February 12, 2011 and need to be renewed.

In light of a reported deal that will link a renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, Brown this week introduced stand-alone legislation to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance for five years to allow U.S. companies to remain competitive and create jobs in the face of unfair competition from foreign manufacturers.  The bill would extend Trade Adjustment Assistance at 2009 levels for five years until December 31, 2016.

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