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Laid-off Alcoa workers eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits

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The U.S. Department of Labor has approved a Trade Adjustment Assistance certification for laid off workers at Alcoa in Massena which allow them to apply for benefits, U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said this afternoon.

Mrs. Gillibrand earlier this month urged U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to support Alcoa employees’ petition for TAA, citing the impact on a significant number of workers.

“This support is incredibly important for Alcoa workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” Mrs. Gillibrand said in a news release. “When New York jobs get shipped away, our workers deserve every opportunity to keep making ends meet for their families, and get the retraining they need so they have the right skills for the jobs of the new economy.”

In January, Alcoa announced plans to close two potlines at its Massena East smelter plant, displacing 332 employees.

TAA is a federal program established under the Trade Act of 1974. Workers whose employment is adversely affected by increased imports and shifts in production outside the U.S. may apply for TAA, which provides a benefits including training for employment in another field and employment assistance, weekly cash payments after unemployment benefits expire, reimbursement for job search expenses and relocation if a worker needs to move to find a job.

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