BASTROP – The 550 International Paper workers who lost their jobs when the Bastrop facility closed last November are now eligible to apply for additional retraining and re-employment services because their job loss is the result of foreign competition.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor requesting Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for those former IP workers, and the LWC was notified today that it had been approved.
"The TAA certification will give us additional resources to get International Paper employees back to work or in training programs as quickly as possible," LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield said. "The closure of the mill has been very difficult for those employees, for Bastrop and the surrounding area. We're very happy that the federal government agrees with us on the causes of the closure and the need for this additional assistance."
The TAA program provides services to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced because of international competition. TAA services could include training scholarships, job search and relocation allowances, income support and health coverage tax credits.
The services available through the TAA program are being offered in addition to the orientation sessions, worker transition center, job-readiness seminars and job fair provided in Bastrop by the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Rapid Response Team.
TAA services are offered at no cost to the employer or the participating employees.
Additional information about Trade Adjustment Assistance is available at the Louisiana Workforce Commission Web site at www.laworks.net/FAQs/FAQ_NAFTA_TAA.asp.
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