bush-finger.jpgIf you were dozing off or running up and down the stairs dealing with a child last night when you were watching President Bush’s final State of the Union address you may have missed a brief mention by the President about reforming “Trade Adjustment Assistance”.

“I ask Congress to reauthorize and reform Trade Adjustment Assistance, so we can help these displaced workers learn new skills and find new jobs.”

For those of you who believe you lost your job because positions like yours have gone overseas where cheap labor is king, then you better hit the rewind on your TiVo.

This little known act — little known by workers who need it — provides job training assistance, and a bunch of other help, to workers who have lost their jobs because of offshoring.

This from the White House website:

Trade Adjustment Assistance provides training and income support to workers who lose their jobs due to imports or a shift in production to certain other countries. In addition, program benefits include job search and relocation allowances, wage insurance for older workers not in training, and a health coverage tax credit.

The site also points out how the program is flawed, unable to reach the goals set out to help the people that need it most. Why? Who the heck knows about it? There are actually several bills on the table right now to reform the Act and give struggling displaced workers even more help, beyond just manufacturing type jobs. That’s a good thing because such assistance is sorely needed. (Here’s a link to a fact sheet about the program and how to get assistance.)

Labor advocates have been skeptical of Bush’s calls for reform in the past.This from the head of the AFL-CIO John Sweeney:

The Bush “reform” proposals eliminate current training programs to help unemployed adults and at-risk youth and transfer funding for these programs to state block grants for unproven Career Advancement Accounts. These block grants will reduce accountability, diminish training funding, and increase outsourcing of public employment service programs. Bush proposals for block grants and individual training accounts have been rejected by a Republican-majority Congress several times already.

Despite the disbelief, I am forever hopeful. It makes sense to provide such training. Would you benefit from it?

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]