Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has approved a much-needed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) certification for workers at Electromark Inc. in Wolcott. Electromark workers, laid off as the company transfers manufacturing operations to Mexico, can now apply for critical TAA benefits.
In December 2013, Senator Gillibrand wrote U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez urging him to support Electromark employees’ petition for TAA, citing that this will impact over 120 employees in Wolcott.
“This support is incredibly important for Electromark workers who lost 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.”
Electromark, which has been in Wayne County for more than 40 years, manufactured outdoor signs, labels and flags. In 2005, Electromark was acquired by Brady World Wide Incorporation. In 2013, Brady decided to close this Wolcott facility in an effort to consolidate operations and lower costs without notifying local officials. Their announced plans have included shutting down the facility over the next 12 months and moving operations to Tijuana, Mexico, in the process.
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 may receive up to 104 weeks of approved 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’s letter to the Department of Labor is attached.