Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) TrainingProgram Overview & Recent Changes AGENCY FOR WORKFORCE INNOVATION
PowerPoint Commentary • This presentation includes information on the Trade Act of 2002 as well as the Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009. • Information that runs parallel to both programs and where there are no changes is in black. • Where there have been changes under the new program, the information is in burgundy.
Group Eligibility The 2009 Amendment, in addition to production workers, now covers workers employed in the following: • Workers in firms that supply services • Workers whose firm has shifted production to any foreign country • Workers in public agencies • Workers whose firm produces component parts based on increased imports of finished products • Workers in firms that supply testing, packaging, maintenances and transportation services to companies with TAA-certified workers • Workers whose firm is identified in an International Trade Commission “injury” determination listed in the Act.
Petition Filing Petitions should be filed simultaneously with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) and the State by: • A group of workers at the trade-affected company (minimum of three) • Company Official • Union Official • State Workforce Office • One-Stop Operator/Partner • Other Authorized Representative The Petition format can be found in English and in Spanish at the following website: http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/attach/tegl/TEGL23-08acc.pdf
Petition Filing (cont’d) In response to the filing ofa petition: • The USDOL publishes a notice in the Federal Register and on its website and begins investigation • The State initiates rapid response activities and services
Rapid Response Assistance Rapid Response is a proactive approach designed to respond to layoffs and plant closings by quickly coordinating services and providing immediate aid to companies and their affected workers.
Petition Certification If the criteria are met, the USDOL issues a determination of eligibility (certification) within 40 days from the date the petition is submitted.
Notifying Regional Workforce Boards (RWBs) and Partners Upon receiving a Certified Petition issued by the USDOL, the State TAA Coordinator sends information to partners: Executive Director in the administrative area where the primary layoff occurred, local TAA Coordinator, Rapid Response Coordinator, Department of Education - Workforce Education, Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) Reemployment and Emergency Assistance Coordination Team (REACT) Unit, etc.
Trade-Affected Worker Notification Process • A list of affected workers is provided to the AWI. • AWI sends a TAA/Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) Notification packet to affected workers which outlines the services and benefits. • Additionally, the packet includes information regarding a TAA Informational Meeting and local contact, as described on the next slide.
TAA Informational Meeting RWBs and partners should schedule a TAA Informational Meeting with the affected workers. This meeting provides the workers with information on the services and benefits they may be eligible to receive, local assessment procedures, information on training providers and approved occupational skills/vocational training programs, etc. Note: The TAA Informational Meeting can be customized to meet the needs of the affected workers.
TAA Services and Benefits for Workers • Rapid Response Assistance • Employment and Case Management Services • Reemployment Services • Job Search Allowances • Relocation Allowances • Training • Income Support – Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) • Waivers from Training
TAA Services and Benefits for Workers (cont’d) • Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance for older workers (ATAA) (Petitions filed prior to May 18, 2009) • Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) (Petitions filed on or after May 18, 2009) • Health Coverage Tax Credits (HCTC)
Comparable Differences A petition number allows one to distinguish between the trade programs for which a trade-affected worker is covered. • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) • NAFTA/TAA • Trade Act of 2002 • Trade Act of 2009 For those petitions that were certified under the NAFTA, the petition number begins with a letter followed by a four digit number -i.e., N6245
Comparable Differences (cont’d) For workers covered under a certified NAFTA/TAA petition, the numbers range up to 49999. For workers covered under the Trade Act of 2002 petition, the numbers range from 50000 to 69999. For workers covered under the 2009 Amendment petition, the numbers range from 70000 and up.
Guiding Principles • Rapid ReemploymentIncrease the focus on early intervention, upfront assessment, and reemployment services for adversely affected workers • Coordination with Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and/or Wagner-Peyser (W-P)Use One-Stop Career Centers as the main point of intake and delivery of benefits and services to participants
Guiding Principles (Cont’d) • Fiscal IntegrityMaintain fiscal integrity and promote performance accountability • Data Integrity & Performance GoalsCommon measures, identical to WIA (Dislocated Worker)
Enrollment in Training • Verify separation date from trade-affected employer and reason for separation • Verify Petition number that covers the affected worker • Establish 8 or 16 week deadline for enrollment in training for Petitions filed prior to May 18, 2009 (Petition number 69999 or lower) for TRA • Establish 26-week deadline for enrollment in training for Petitions filed on or after May 18, 2009 (Petition number 70000 or higher) for TRA • Verify that the trade-affected worker has filed for regular unemployment insurance
Enrollment in Training (cont’d) • Conduct an initial assessment • Complete a TAA Bona fide Application (TAA Module) • Conduct a comprehensive assessment • Provide Employment and Case Management services • Apply the six program criteria for training eligibility • Mandatory co-enrollment in WIA Note: Under the 2009 Amendment, the assessment process can be provided by staff using TAA case management funds.
Enrollment in Training (cont’d) • Select appropriate training • Determine the length of time to complete the training program • Identify prerequisites that are required for the training program • Determine the total cost of training to be completed (tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation and/or subsistence,etc.)
Enrollment in Training (cont’d) • Verify the date the individual will begin participating in training • Ensure that the approval date (enrollment in the TAA program) is within 30 days of the training begin date
Six Program Criteria for Training • There is no suitable employment available to the worker • The worker would benefit from training • There is a reasonable expectation of employment following completion • Training is reasonably available to the worker • The worker is qualified to undertake and complete the training • Training is suitable and available at a reasonable cost Note: There is no entitlement to receive training. All six (6) program criteria must be met before training is approved.
Incumbent Worker (Pre-Separation) Training Under the 2009 Amendment, an Adversely–Affected Incumbent Worker may receive TAA-funded training while still employed by the trade-affected firm. An Incumbent Worker means a worker who: * Is a member of a group of certified workers * Has not yet been totally separated from trade-affected employment * Is threatened with total or partial separation
Incumbent Worker (Pre-Separation) Training The following limitations apply to training for incumbent workers: * On-the-job training (OJT) is not allowable for incumbent workers * Customized training may only be approved if the training is for a position other than the worker’s position in the adversely affected employment, i.e. only if the position is not similarly threatened by trade
Full-Time/Part-Time Training Participant must be in training on a full-time basis under the Trade Act of 2002. The 2009 Amendment allows for participants to enroll in training part-time. Note: Full-time & part-time are defined by the training institution.
No Enrollment Deadlinefor Training There is no time limit affecting approval for enrollment in TAA paid training. (Deadlines apply to the receipt of TRA payments.)
Length of Training Participation in an approved training program cannot exceed 104 weeks (or 130 weeks if remedial education is required). For Petitions filed on or after May 18, 2009, the maximum length of training increases to 130 weeks (156 if remedial and/or prerequisite courses required). Note: The 2009 Amendment allows for training to be approved for longer than the 156 week period, but only if the participants can establish up front that they can find the means to pay for the training (e.g., grants, loans or partner programs) as TAA will not pay for training beyond 156 weeks.
Prerequisite/Remedial Education Approved training can include prerequisite (under the 2009 Amendment) and remedial education concurrently with and/or followed by occupational skills training. Remedial/prerequisite education cannot be approved as stand-alone training, but should be combined with occupational skills training and be identified in the Training Plan. Note: Remedial English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) can be approved as a stand-alone as long as the affected worker has marketable skills.
Approval of Training Types of Allowable Training • Occupational Skills • Remedial & Prerequisite Training • On-the-Job Training • Customized Training • Registered Apprenticeships (under the 2009 Amendment)
Approval of Training (cont’d) Training Vendors must be selected from the State Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) or the locally approved list. Occupational skills training must be identified on the state or local targeted occupations list. Training may be approved even if it exceeds the maximum time allowed under TAA if the participant can establish the ability to afford the training after the TAA funding runs out.
Reasonable Cost TAA participants shall not be required to pay any portion of their approved training cost through personal funding sources during the TAA-funded period of training.
Reasonable Cost (cont’d) Under the 2009 Amendment, a State/Region may determine a maximum reasonable cost for training, but only with a mechanism for exceeding that maximum when that results in the most reasonable and cost effective way of returning the trade-affected worker to sustainable employment. The State/Region must ensure that any Individual Training Account (ITA) caps developed are sufficient to cover the total costs of suitable training for high growth, demand, and green occupations in all localities in which those ITA caps apply.
Disqualification Participants can be disqualified if they cease training without justifiable cause; refuse to accept or continue training; or fail to make satisfactory progress in approved training.
Waiver of Training Requirement A Waiver of Training Requirement is issued to protect the worker’s receipt of TRA. It may be necessary to issue a Waiver of Training Requirement if training has not been approved. If the worker has not been approved for training prior to the enrolled in training deadline, a waiver must be issued. There is no need to issue a waiver of training requirement if theworker will not qualify for TRA.
Waiver of Training Requirement (cont’d) An adversely-affected worker may be granted a waiver of training requirement for one of the following reason(s): • Enrollment Unavailable • Training Unavailable • Recall • Marketable Skills • Retirement • Health
Waiver of Training Requirement (cont’d) A waiver can be issued for six months or longer. The waiver must be reviewed every 30 days to determine if the condition for issuing the waiver is still valid. The 2009 Amendment allows for the initial waiver to be issued for three months, and renewed every 30 days. Note: While the amendment allows for waivers to be reviewed only after three months, Regional Workforce Boards and their partners need to continue to review waivers monthly, until new guidance is issued.
Waiver of Training Requirement (cont’d) The first waiver issued and approved should be recorded as an activity in Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) and thereafter should be recorded as a waiver entry every 30-day period. Should the reason or condition for the waiver change, the case manager will need to assign a different activity. In addition, TAA case managers must send the Waiver of TAA Training Requirement (form AWI-566) to the Special Payment Unit.
Waiver of Training Requirement (cont’d) Issuing waivers for an extended period of time can prevent an individual from receiving additional TRA benefits when looking at the 210 day deadline, for Petitions filed prior to May 18, 2009. The 210 day rule does not apply to Petitions filed on or after May 18, 2009.
Employment & Case Management Services The 2009 Amendment allows for TAA funds to pay for: • Comprehensive Assessment • Individual Employment Plan (IEP) • Information on available training and how to apply for training • Information on how to apply for financial aid • Short-term prevocational services • Individual career counseling • Labor Market Information • Issuance of a waiver of training requirement
Employment & Case Management Services (cont’d) If there are no available TAA funds to support case management, other allowable federal funds (WIA and/or Wagner-Peyser, etc.) must be used.
What is Trade Readjustment Assistance (TRA)? TRA is an extension of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. A trade-affected worker who qualifies for UI may be eligible to receive income support after exhausting regular and/or extended/emergency UI benefits.
TRAEligibility/Deadlines The trade-affected worker must have 26 weeks of employment with the trade-affected employer at $30 or more per week in the 52 week period ending with the total or partial separation from the adversely affected employment. The 2009 Amendment allows the trade-affected worker to begin receiving TRA benefits immediately upon certification of a petition if UI entitlement has been exhausted. (Prior to the amendment, there was a 60-day waiting period before a worker could receive TRA.)
TRAEligibility/Deadlines (cont’d) For Petitions filed prior to May 18, 2009, a worker’s eligibility for TRA benefits requires the individual to be enrolled in approved training or placed on a waiver of the training requirement within: • Eight (8) weeks after the date of Certification; or • Sixteen (16) weeks after the most recent qualifying separation For Petitions filed on or after May 18, 2009, the individual must be enrolled in approved training or placed on a waiver of the training requirement within 26 weeks of the date of Certification or qualifying separation. Under previous law, an application for training must be made within 210 days to qualify for Additional TRA. The 210-day deadline is eliminated under the 2009 Amendment.
TRAEligibility/Deadlines (cont’d) Florida may extend the deadline for enrollment in training 45 days for extenuating circumstances. Under the 2009 Amendment, if the worker does not receive timely notification, the deadline for enrollment is 60 days from the date of notification. A participant may receive TRA during an approved scheduled training break not to exceed 30 calendar days. Note: Scheduled breaks take into account normal school days and run consecutive for each identified break published by the training institution.
TRAMilitary Service The 2009 Amendment adjusts periods of eligibility for trade-affected workers called or ordered to active duty in the Armed Forces, Army National Guard of the United States or Air National Guard of the United States for more than 30 days. (Restarts enrollment process.)
Election of TRA or UI In some situations a worker earns wages after the most recent separation from trade-affected employment, qualifying the worker for a subsequent benefit year of UI at a lower weekly benefit amount (WBA) than for the first benefit year. Based upon this, the higher WBA of the first benefit year must stop while the worker collects UI based upon the lower WBA of the second benefit year. The 2009 Amendment resolves this dilemma by allowing the worker to elect to receive TRA instead of UI for any week where the worker meets two conditions:
Election of TRA or UI (cont’d) • The worker is entitled to receive UI as a result of a new benefit year based in whole or in part upon part-time or short-term employment in which the worker engaged after the worker’s most recent total separation from the adversely affected employment; and • the worker is otherwise entitled to TRA. Note: This interpretation is advantageous to the worker because it looks to a broader range of wages upon which the new benefit year may be based in order to allow the worker the election.
UI and TRA Weekly Benefit Amounts (WBA) Currently, the maximum WBA in Florida is $275 per week. If the trade-affected worker qualifies for TRA, the same weekly benefit received for UI is payable to the worker. The Trade Act requires that earned wages be deducted from the weekly benefit amount (WBA). If earned wages exceed the WBA, the individual receives no TRA for that period. The 2009 Amendment requires that when the individual is enrolled in full-time training and is also working part-time, earnings from work that are equal to or less than the most recent WBA will not be deducted from the WBA.
TRA Payable Weeks Extended/emergency benefits will be deducted from TRA.
Job Search Allowance A job search allowance may be granted to an adversely affected worker to assist the worker in securing a job outside of the commuting area, but within the United States. The worker must meet specific eligibility requirements.
Job Search AllowanceCriteria A worker may receive Job Search Allowances if the following conditions are met: • The worker is covered under a certified petition. • The worker has been totally separated from the trade-affected employer. • The worker has an active job seeker registration on file at the One-Stop Career Center (Wagner-Peyser).