The U.S. Department of Labor Thursday announced it had released more than $450 million in assistance to be used by states for career training, employment and case management services to workers who lose their jobs due to outsourcing and foreign trade.
The funding comes by way of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which was recently adjusted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Recovery Act authorized an increase in the maximum amount of TAA funds that could be used for training nationwide. The expansion was put in place to “ensure that all U.S. workers negatively affected by trade have the skills, resources and support to gain new employment,” a U.S. Department of Labor press release states.
Now that TAA funds can reach $575 million (previously capped at $220 million), the Department of Labor added supplemental funding for fiscal year 2009. The $450-plus million in funds will be distributed in varying amounts to the states. For instance, Alaska will receive a total of $594,032 in fiscal 2009, while California is allotted more than $21 million, according to the Department of Labor Web site.
"Workers around the nation continue to see their jobs disappear as a direct result of increased imports and competitive trade," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, in a press release. "The funding announced today will help more of these workers upgrade existing skills or retrain for new careers in industries that have the potential to grow in the coming months and years."
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