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Trade Act Program Benefits and Services

Trade Act Program Overview

 
 

 Overview Video

 
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Re-employment Services

 
Because TAA is a reemployment program, approval of other benefits and services are based on the availability of suitable work in your labor market. Suitable work means work of an equal or higher skill level than your trade affected employment at wages not less than 80% of your average weekly wage from this employer. Since this can be difficult to understand, please contact your TAA Representative to understand how this applies to you. Your TAA Representative will look at your wage records to figure out your average weekly wage and help you look at labor market information to see if there is suitable work available.
 
Many trade affected workers tell us that they would rather find work as soon as possible than consider going into training since they feel that it would be a financial hardship to live on Unemployment Insurance and/or Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) or be without health insurance for an extended period of time. Your local TAA Representative can help you learn about the many resources that are available to help jobseekers. Resources and services available at your local Employment Department office or One-Stop Center may include: Career exploration tools, community resource information, computer-aided job match, career counseling, job development, job search workshops, labor market information, local and statewide job listings, resume writing tools, supportive services, self-directed job search assistance, and vocational testing. To find out what´s available in your area, contact your local TAA Representative .
 
If suitable work is not available and you are interested in On-the-Job Training (OJT), these reemployment services can help you find an OJT employer. Contact your local TAA Representative for more information.
 
Keep in mind that Job Search and Relocation allowances may be available for those trade affected workers that find reemployment instead of going into training. There are deadlines and other limits so read the information about those allowances. You can always call your local TAA Representative if you have any questions about the rules for receiving these allowances.
 

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Training

If you have been unable to find suitable work, you may want to apply for training. If and when training is approved, TAA may pay for tuition, books, fees, supplies and tools that are required of all students in the same training program to be able to complete the training program.
 
There is a cap for the training allowance in Oregon. Contact your TAA Represenative to find out what that cap is. When you look at possible training programs, keep that cap in mind since we are not able to approve training that exceeds it.
 
If you are claiming unemployment insurance benefits, you will not have to seek work or accept work while you are attending TAA approved training or during breaks in training that are 30 days or less. (For trade affected workers certified under petitions that are numbered 49,999 or lower, the limit is 14 days or less.) Remember, this applies only after your training plan has been approved by your local TAA Representative . Otherwise, you will need to look for work as directed if you are claiming unemployment insurance benefits.
 
You may choose one of two types of training:
 
  • Classroom training- includes training at most public schools or private training facilities; please visit www.QualityInfo.org  for possible school options.
    There are some limitations so check with your local TAA Representative if you have questions. The classroom training program must give you the skills required to be job ready in a specific occupation.
  • On-the-Job Training - if you find an employer who is willing to provide job training while you are employed, part of your wages may be reimbursed to the employer. An On-the-Job Training contract cannot be written for a job that you have already started so make sure that you request the OJT before you are hired.
 
Some general rules about training plans:
 
You must apply in advance for Trade Act approved training. If you have already started school that is being paid for by another governmental agency and it meets Trade Act rules it may qualify for approval under the Trade Act program. Contact your local TAA Representative  to find out.
 
Training can be approved within 30 days before the start date of training. For example, if you are laid off in April and you have applied for eligibility as an individual and are determined eligible for TAA benefits and you find out that the training you want only starts every fall term, your training plan can be approved within 30 days before fall term begins. If you are collecting unemployment insurance benefits during that time you will be required to continue to look for and be available for work until your training plan can be signed by a TAA Representative.
 
You are allowed one training plan. This means that once you start your occupational training, you can´t change your mind and start a different occupational training. Be careful about the job goal that you choose. Do a lot of research first to make sure that the occupation and the training are right for you. If you are not sure where to start, contact yourTAA Representative for help in finding career exploration and assessment assistance.
 
The length of training cannot exceed 104 weeks of classroom or on-the-job training. If you also need remedial training, the length of training cannot exceed 130 weeks. We count only weeks that you are in training. Break weeks do not count in the total.
 
Training must be full time. The definition for full time training is based on the type of training you choose. If your training will be at a community college, the college catalog will give you an outline of the classes you need to take each quarter to be able to complete your training. If you choose training at a vocational school, the full time requirements may be very different. Sometimes we are asked if a person can go to school part time and work part or full time. Since the TAA Law states that the training must be full time, a part time training plan will not be approvable.
 
Criteria for approval of TAA training:
 
Training can be approved if suitable work is not available for you in your labor market. The definition of suitable work is work of an equal or higher skill level than your trade affected employment at wages of not less than 80% of your average weekly wage from the employer. If you are not sure if there is suitable work available for you or what your labor market is, check with your TAA Representative for help.
 
You must benefit from the training and be job ready when done. Once you choose an occupational goal and a training facility, your TAA Representative will need to know if you will be job ready when the TAA approved training is completed. Sometimes we are asked if we can help with the beginning of a program, like a 4 year degree program. We would not be able to do that but we may be able to help with the training once it is within our training cap amount and time limits.
 
There must be a reasonable expectation of employment following the completion of training. You will need to know if there will be jobs available for the occupation that you choose. To find this information, check out the job openings and job market information on the Employment Department´s Web site. You should also look at newspapers and other job search websites. Your TAA Representative can also help you find out what the projections are for your job goal.
 
Training must be available. Once you have chosen a job goal, you need to find out where training for that occupation is offered. You will need to attend a local training facility if the training is available in your labor market. If it isn´t, then training in another state may be approvable. Training outside of the USA cannot be approved by Trade Act.
 
If the only training available is outside your labor market area, you may be reimbursed for travel expenses to and from the training facility by being paid the current federal mileage rate. If it is necessary for you to maintain two households because you have family members that cannot travel with you and have to stay home, you may qualify for subsistence reimbursement for your temporary residence near the training site based on ½ the federal per diem rate. For more information on what your labor market area is and reimbursement of mileage and subsistence, please contact your local TAA Representative .
 
You are qualified to undertake and complete the training. Your TAA Representative will need to know if you have the skills and qualifications required for the training. You must meet the entrance requirements or pass the entrance exam for the training, if there are any. If it is a community college, take the placement test first to find out if you need to take any remedial classes or prerequisites. If you do need to take some remedial, adult basic education or prerequisite classes, can those classes and the occupational training be completed in the time and money limits? If you are looking into something like truck driver training, do you have any problems with your driving record that will prevent you from being accepted by the school or hired by an employer? Make sure you have the answers to these types of questions before you request an approval for a training plan from your TAA Representative.
 
We need to know if you can support yourself financially while in training. Do you have the financial resources to make it through to the completion of training? Although most of the students in Trade Act approved training are eligible for some type of unemployment insurance benefits, some students have had to drop out because it is difficult to make ends meet with UI or TRA benefits only. Some are not eligible for any UI or TRA for various reasons. Make sure you know if you qualify for UI benefits and/or TRA benefits and have a good idea of how long they will last before you plan your training program. Some of our participants have spouses that work or money available in savings so being ineligible for benefits would not be a concern. For a training plan to be approved, your TAA Representative  will need to ask you how you will be able to make it financially to completion. Your TAA Representative can help you if you have questions about your eligibility for UI or TRA.
 
Training must be suitable and available at a reasonable cost. This means that the training is appropriate considering your capabilities, skills and experience. The cost of the training is also taken into consideration. When the cost of training is compared, the plan that is more reasonably priced (and not exceeding the cap) can be approved if all other approval criteria are also met.
 

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If there is no suitable work available in your normal labor market area and you have a job interview or want to look for work in another area, you may be eligible for job search allowances. You must apply and be approved before you start your out-of-area job search so be sure to contact your local TAA Representative before you leave town. We cannot reimburse for job search costs that were not approved in advance. If approved, you may be reimbursed for 90% of the cost of food, lodging and travel expenses based on the federal mileage rate and ½ of the per diem rate or actual cost, whichever is less.
 
Some rules about Job Search:
 
  • All expenses must be supported by dated original receipts. 
  • You must keep a verifiable work search record.
  • You may be reimbursed for more than one job search, but only up to a maximum total of $1,250.00. (For trade affected workers certified under petitions that are numbered 49,999 or lower, the maximum is $800.00.)
  • You have 365 days from the certification date or your layoff date, whichever is later, to apply for job search allowances.
  • You have 182 days from the date you successfully complete training to apply.
  • We cannot approve job search allowances for a job search conducted outside of the United States.
These are most of the rules and limits for job search. Contact your local TAA Representative for all the details and for help in applying for the job search allowance.

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Re-location

If there is no suitable work available in your normal labor market area and you have a verifiable job offer in another area, you may be eligible for relocation allowances. You must apply and be approved before you start your move so be sure to contact your local TAA Representative  before you leave town. We cannot reimburse for relocation costs that were not approved in advance. If approved, you may be reimbursed for 90% of the cost of your moving expenses to move you, your immediate family and your household goods to the new location. If overnight travel is required, food, lodging and travel expenses may be available, based on 90% of the actual cost or the federal mileage rate and ½ of the per diem rate, whichever is less.
 
You may also qualify to receive a lump sum payment of up to $1,250.00. (For trade affected workers certified under petitions that are numbered 49,999 or lower, the lump sum payment is up to $800.00) to assist with move-in costs.
 
Some rules about Relocation:
  • All expenses must be supported by dated original receipts.
  • You have 425 days from the certification date or your layoff date, which is later, to apply for relocation allowances.
  • You have 182 days from the date you successfully complete training to apply.
  • The move cannot be to a location outside of the United States.
These are most of the rules and limits for relocation. Contact your local TAA Representative for all the details and for help in applying for the relocation allowance.
 

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Trade Readjustment Allowance

Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) benefits provide additional unemployment benefits to individuals certified under the Trade Act program. 
 
For more information on these additional benefits, and program requirements, contact the Training Programs Unit at 503-947-1800 or toll free at 1-800-436-6191. 
 

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Alternative Trade Adjust. Asst

Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance is a wage subsidy for trade affected workers who may not be interested in going back to school and find employment that pays less than their trade affected employment. ATAA helps to bridge the salary gap between their old and new jobs.
 
Submission of a completed Petition Form signifies a desire to file for both TAA and ATAA. 
 
The three criteria for ATAA certification (approval): 
 
  • A significant number of adversely affected workers in the petitioning worker´s firm are 50 years of age or older;
  • The adversely affected workers in the petitioning workers´ firm possess job skills that are not easily transferable to other employment; and
  • The competitive conditions within the affected workers´ industry are adverse.

If the Department of Labor (DOL) finds that all three criteria are met, then affected workers can apply for individual eligibility. The determination from DOL will clearly state whether or not the petitioning workers are eligible to apply for the ATAA program. This statement will appear directly after the statement of eligibility to apply for regular TAA.
 
ATAA is not available for workers covered by petitions filed before August 6, 2003.
If an affected worker is covered by a certification that includes ATAA, the following conditions must also be met at the time of application:
  • Be at least 50 at the time the worker group becomes certified for TAA/ATAA.
  • Obtain employment by the last day of the 26th week after your qualifying separation from the TAA/ATAA certified employment.
  • Must not be expected to earn more than $50,000 annually in gross wages (excluding overtime pay) from the new employer.
  • Maximum total benefit of up to $10,000.
  • Be reemployed full time, 40 hours per week.
  • Cannot return to work to the employment from which the worker was separated.

If ATAA is chosen, Training or Job Search is no longer available. Relocation may still be available if approval criteria for those benefits are also met. 
 
Note: Other deadlines and conditions apply. For more information about ATAA and how to apply, contact  the UI Training Programs Unit (TPU) at (503) 947-1800 or (800) 436-6191.

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