“I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I am much better off now than I was before,” remarked Sharol Banzhaf.
Sharol is one of many workers who have benefited from the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, administered by the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL). The TAA program provides aid to workers who lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade. TAA is helping them obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support necessary to become reemployed.
“The Trade program was a great asset to me when I was laid off,” Banzhaf said. “I decided I wanted to go to school to become a nurse. The program helped me pay for my school. They not only paid for tuition, they helped me keep my bills paid so that I did not have to work while I studied. I now have a wonderful job, a job that is not just a pay check, it is a job I love to do.”
Workers age 50 and over can receive the Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) for Older Workers.
Frank Magana said, “When the plant closed we had to make a big adjustment to our living and spending habits. The wage subsidy was a life saver because we were struggling.”
TAA benefits vary from occupational skills training to job search and relocation. Training programs include classroom training, on-the-job training and post-secondary programs. Trainings may be approved on a full-time or part-time basis. The cost of training is paid to the training provider with TAA program funds and may includetuition, books, required supplies and a mileage allowance reimbursed back to the participant if the training is outside of the designated commuting distance.
Workers who have received training through the TAA program have gone on to get their associate degrees and become architectural drafters, licensed practical nurses, medical laboratory technicians, electricians, heating and air conditioning servicers, and the list goes on. Many individuals take advantage of short-term training programs and receive their commercial driver’s license, nurse’s aide and medication aide licenses.
The TAA program has assisted individuals with job search outside the commuting area. The monetary benefit is available to reimburse approved expenses incurred while seeking employment. Individuals who find employment outside the commuting area could receive a relocation assistance benefit. Relocation benefit is available to reimburse for approved moving expenses and has been paid out to qualifying participants who have moved within the state and even as far away as the West Coast.
Anyone who wishes to apply for the TAA program should contact their local Nebraska Department of Labor office to see if they qualify. A list of career centers is available online at dol.nebraska.gov.