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News Release

ETA News Release: [09/24/2009]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3434 or x4661
Release Number: 09-1176-NAT

U.S. Department of Labor certifies Delaware auto workers as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that workers from General Motors in Wilmington, Del., are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).

"I know that so many Delaware families are hurting because of the auto layoffs throughout our state," said Vice President Joe Biden. "This announcement is a step forward and an opportunity for many Delawareans who lost their jobs at General Motors in Wilmington to re-enter the workforce in promising, regional industries."

Workers covered by this Trade Adjustment Assistance certification will be contacted by the state with instructions on how to apply for individual benefits and services. Those who apply may receive case management and re-employment services, training in new occupational skills and trade readjustment allowances that provide income support for workers enrolled in training. Some workers may also receive job search and relocation allowances, and the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC).

"Work reductions and layoffs remain a part of our current economic reality, and the Department of Labor will not waiver in helping trade-impacted workers re-enter the workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

State and federal officials had the following comments about this announcement:

"Delaware's GM workers gave years of their lives to that plant, and I am very pleased the Obama-Biden Administration is helping to give them the opportunity to learn new skills to become a part of Delaware's economic future," said Gov. Jack Markell.

"Trade Adjustment Assistance will help our auto workers and their families get through this challenging time," said Sen. Tom Carper. "Delaware's auto workers are one of the best workforces in the nation. We must help them get back to work. "

"While nothing can undo the plant closings and resulting job loss, this is welcome news," said Sen. Ted Kaufman. "This is key to our economic well-being: getting skilled, hard-working Delawareans trained and supported so they can get back into the workforce. TAA is a substantial step, but much more needs to be done before we can consider our economy ‘recovered' – and I won't rest until we get there."

"Many of the auto workers in Delaware who have recently lost their jobs are eligible for training, job search and other federal assistance under TAA," said Rep. Mike Castle. "Sustainable economic growth is our long-term priority right now, but these programs can be very useful to individuals in need, and I hope Delawareans who qualify will take full advantage of such opportunities during these challenging times."

"This action will now allow workers from the Wilmington GM plant to receive needed TAA assistance while they seek new employment," added Dr. Ed Montgomery, executive director of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers. "This assistance will provide much needed help to them and their families during this trying economic time. The administration is committed to helping grow the economy to creating good jobs for these and other laid off workers."

Workers 50 years of age and older may elect to receive Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA). If a worker obtains new employment at wages less than $55,000 and less than those earned in adversely affected employment, the RTAA program will pay 50 percent of the difference between the old wage and the new wage, up to $12,000 over a two-year period. RTAA participants may also be eligible for retraining and the HCTC.

For more information on Trade Adjustment Assistance and the range of Department of Labor employment and training services, visit http://www.doleta.gov.