The 21st century economy is driven by an ever-changing global marketplace. What was once a fledgling business or industry can quickly grow to redefine consumer demand and reshape our workforce.
Americans are the most productive workforce in the world, and to outcompete other countries, it is vital that they have all the job training and other support they need to tap into new opportunities that the 21st century economy presents.
That is why Congress needs to reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA).
For more than 40 years, Trade Adjustment Assistance has helped support U.S. workers who are adversely affected by globalization and trade by providing job training support, career counseling, wage supplements for older workers, job search and reallocation allowances, and income support for workers in training programs.
If trade is believed to have played a significant part in job losses, then an employer, a group of three workers, a union or worker representative, or an American Job Center representative can apply for TAA benefits on behalf of the affected workers.
Since 1974, 2.2 million American workers have benefited from this program, which provides workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support they need to obtain good jobs in an in-demand occupation — and keep them. For example, in Fiscal Year 2014, nearly 77 percent of TAA participants found a job within 6 months of completing the program, and 90 percent of those who found work retained their jobs 6 months later.
Fortunately, there is a bill before Congress that locks in place a robust TAA program for the next six years — giving an estimated 100,000 workers a year access to TAA benefits by:
TAA legislation has long received bipartisan support, passing with ample support from Members of Congress in 2011, including unanimous support from Democrats — 125 of whom are still in Congress today. However, this go-round, some Members are considering letting this vital program expire.
If nothing else, here are three facts you should know about the current TAA bill in Congress:
Now that you know about TAA, take a deep dive into a few other trade terms you might be wondering about here.
Then head to obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/trade to find out more about the President's trade policy.