The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) recently issued a listing of twelve companies whose workers are eligible for assistance under the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Trade Act. Former workers from Hostess, American Italian Pasta Co., ATK, Climax Packaging, CPI, Energizer, Faurecia, Filtration Group, Mars, Sanofi-Aventis, Thyssen Krupp, and Yellow Pages can access Trade Act funds to gain skills and credentials, obtain a training allowance, and receive job search and relocation assistance, and other support services necessary to become reemployed.
The goal of Trade Act assistance is to help workers whose jobs have been hurt by foreign trade to get back to work as soon as possible. If an eligible individual is approved, adversely affected workers can access the following services and benefits:
- Reemployment Services – skills assessment, career counseling, job search strategies, help with resumes, cover letters and applications, referrals to jobs, training and job market information, interview preparation.
- Training and Related Expense Reimbursement – up to 130 weeks of full-time or part-time job training, including On-the-Job Training, Occupational Training, Customized Training, and Remedial Training. Training-related expenses, such as tuition, books, fees, tools and uniforms among others, may also be included.
- Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA), Additional Weekly Benefits – up to 130 weeks of income support which means additional weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits after the initial UI claim has been exhausted. TRA is for workers enrolled in full-time training within 26 weeks of their trade-related layoff or certification, whichever is later.
- Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) – a tax credit covering 72.5 percent of the worker’s monthly premium for qualified health insurance.
- Job Search Allowance - reimbursement for job search costs outside the worker’s local area.
- Relocation Allowance- reimbursement for relocation costs for a job outside the worker’s local area.
- Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) - A wage subsidy for up to 2 years, available to workers age 50 or over who are reemployed at annual wages of $50,000 or less.
All Trade Act-related benefits and services can be accessed through SLATE or any other Career Center. To find the closest Missouri Career Center nearest, visit www.jobs.mo.gov.
When a layoff occurs, affected workers must file a petition for Trade Act assistance with the DOL. A petition must be submitted within one year of the layoff for these workers to gain benefits pending DOL certification.
The DOL will accept petitions from a group of three or more workers or their duly authorized agent, such as an attorney, or from a certified union official or an official of the employer. Petitions are available on-line or may also be obtained at a local Career Center; where staff are always willing and able to help with petition completion and filing.
To locate a state or Regional Claims Center contact and to learn more about how to file a petition, check on the status of a petition, or to obtain more information on benefits and services, visit www.doleta.gov/tradeact. Workers must be enrolled in training or be issued a waiver to the training within 26 weeks after the petition certification date or 26 weeks after separation, whichever is later.
Establishing and maintaining contact with Career Center staff, from the early stages of enrollment through training, will ensure that proper documentation and all required deadlines are understood and followed, avoiding any unnecessary delays.
Remember that SLATE Missouri Career Center has staff that is specifically assigned to handle questions about Trade Act benefits and eligibility. For more information about the Trade Act and how we can assist you, please contact SLATE MCC at (314) 657-3551 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For local access to Trade Act services in other Missouri regions, call (800) 877-8698.
SLATE is currently looking to assist former workers of Hostess, CPI, and Yellow Pages – companies approved for Trade Act assistance in St. Louis area. The deadline for filing a petition for Hostess workers laid off on or around November 16, 2012, is fast approaching. It is important that workers from these companies file a petition soon to receive access to the program’s many services and benefits.
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment