Ohio Second Only to Michigan for Number of Workers Certified for
Assistance Since May 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C.—With Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) set to expire in its entirety on Saturday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today renewed his call for Congress to pass a long-term extension of the program, which provides critical retraining services for workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade.
“The numbers don’t lie: more than 32,000 trade-affected Ohio workers have qualified for Trade Adjustment Assistance since May 2009. These are men and women who have relied on TAA to learn new skills and get retrained for 21st-century jobs,” Brown said. “If Congress fails to step in, the TAA program in its entirety will expire on Saturday. I’ve seen first-hand how TAA can help Ohioans get back on their feet, which is why I am urging Congress to pass a long-term extension of this vital program this week.”
TAA is a package of training and reemployment services designed to help workers—who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade—develop the skills they need to find new jobs. According to the Department of Labor, an estimated 32,389 Ohio workers have been certified for TAA assistance since May 2009—second only to Michigan. Of those workers, an estimated 7,119 workers would not have qualified for TAA under a pre-Recovery Act version of TAA. The pre-Recovery Act version of TAA did not cover service workers or workers that lost jobs due to trade with countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement, including China.
Last week, Brown led a group of 14 senators on a letter to members of House leadership, including House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, urging them to pass an extension of TAA in the House. As one of the last acts before 111th Congress adjourned, Brown secured a six-week extension of the TAA program, in addition to the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC), a program that helps trade-affected workers afford private health insurance. Brown fought to extend the program for 18 months, but the Senate only cleared a six-week extension, leaving it up to the new Congress to reconsider the issue.