September 05, 2014

At Gillibrand & Tonko’s Urging, Department Of Labor To Provide Trade Adjustment Assistance For Laid-Off Fiber Glass Industries Workers

Federal Funds Will Provide Impacted Workers Support, Resources to Find New Jobs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Paul Tonko today announced the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has approved a much-needed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) certification for laid off workers at Fiber Glass Industries in Amsterdam. Former employees can now apply for critical TAA benefits.

“This support is incredibly important for Fiber Glass Industries’ employees who are losing their jobs through no fault of their own,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When New York jobs get shipped away, our workers deserve every opportunity to keep making ends meet for their families, and get the retraining they need so they have the right skills for the jobs of the new economy.”

"Job loss due to an uneven playing field in the global marketplace hit home when news broke that Fiber Glass Industries would be closing its doors,” said Congressman Tonko. “As we work with local leaders to cultivate private sector job growth in Montgomery County and throughout the region, there is no greater priority than to ensure those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own are extended help to find new employment locally."

In August, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko urged U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to support Fiber Glass Industries’ petition for TAA, citing that this will impact a significant number of workers. Fiber Glass Industries has been a vital part of Amsterdam’s local economy for more than 50 years and with the August announcement of plans to close the plant, more than 120 employees and their families will be impacted.

TAA is a federal program established under the Trade Act of 1974. Workers whose employment is adversely affected by increased imports and shifts in production outside the U.S. may apply for TAA, which provides a range of benefits and reemployment services, such as:

 ·         Training for employment in another job or career. Workers are eligible for training in occupational skills, basic or remedial education, or training in literacy or English as a second language. Workers may also receive employment services such as case management, skills assessment, and job search assistance.

 ·         Income Support. Workers can receive weekly cash payments called trade readjustment allowances (TRA) after a worker's unemployment compensation benefit is exhausted and during the period in which a worker is participating in an approved full-time training program.

 ·       Job Search Allowance. Workers can get reimbursed for expenses incurred in seeking employment outside their normal commuting area.

 ·       Relocation Allowances. Workers can receive reimbursement for approved expenses if they are successful in obtaining employment outside their normal commuting area and they need to relocate

Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko’s letter to the Department of Labor is attached.