FULTON – Over the past several months, as industries in Oswego and neighboring counties have closed due to foreign competition, several Oswego County residents may have become eligible for benefits under the federal Trade Act, or Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.
Trade Act benefits are designed to help American workers who have lost a job as a result of foreign trade or production being shifted to foreign countries. The program is designed to help workers obtain the skills, resources and support they need to become re-employed.
Oswego County residents who were laid off from Birdseye, New Process Gear/Magna Powertrain, Crucible, Travelers Indemnity Company or Honeywell may qualify for Trade Act benefits. The programs are administered through Oswego County Workforce New York One Stop Career Center at 200 N. Second St., Fulton.
“Our agency administers the programs for people determined to be eligible for benefits under the Trade Act,” said Christine Weaver, manager of the One Stop Center and coordinator of client services. “Some of the TAA benefits are time limited. Individuals who are potentially eligible for benefits should contact the One Stop as soon as possible. Each individual seeking benefits under the Trade Act program must be individually certified and approved by New York State.”
Services range from income support, classroom and on-the-job training, career assessment and employment counseling, to job search and relocation allowances and assistance with health care premiums.
“The main focus is of the Trade Act is to train workers in occupational skills that will enhance their employability,” said Weaver. “Over the last few years, we have had TAA customers enroll in short-term training such as medical billing or truck driving, to degree programs in business administration, registered nursing, and electrical engineering.”
Those who think they may qualify or who want to learn more about TAA benefits should contact the Oswego County Workforce New York One Stop Center at (315) 591-9000 or visit the center weekdays at 200 N. Second St., Fulton.