The North American Free Trade Agreement Transitional Adjustment Assistance Program (NAFTA/TAA Program ) covers workers who are laid off or whose hours of work have been reduced as a direct result of increased imports from Mexico or Canada, or because of a shift of U.S. production to those countries. NAFTA/TAA provides affected workers with a variety of services and programs designed to meet the individual's needs and promote a smooth transition back into the workforce.
NAFTA petitions are submitted to the State of Michigan, Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG), where the Governor's representative and assigned staff gather facts on the affected company and its workers. A preliminary finding is then submitted to the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance (OTAA). OTAA gathers additional information related to the company's situation and issues a positive or negative determination on the petition. OTAA notifies the Governor's representative and the petitioners of the final determination.
If the petition does not meet the eligibility requirements under the NAFTA/TAA program, it is immediately reviewed under the Trade Act to determine if certification is applicable under that program.
The NAFTA/TAA program emphasizes a comprehensive, timely array of retraining and re-employment services, which may include:
Rapid Response: When the Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth's Rapid Response Section is alerted to a planned plant closing or mass layoff, it responds quickly with on-site services. These services include providing information on dislocated worker programs administered through a network of 25 local Michigan Works! Agencies (which operate over 100 Michigan Works! Service Centers throughout the state) and the state's unemployment insurance program.
Employment Services: Services may include career counseling, job placement assistance, and support services designed to help the dislocated worker find a new job. Employment services are administered by Michigan Works! and are available at any Michigan Works! Service Center.
Training: Eligible workers may receive up to two years of classroom training in a program that is designed to lead to employment upon completion. Vocational and technical training, on-the-job training, and remedial education are examples of other types of training available.
Income Support: Up to 52 weeks of additional income support may be available while the worker is successfully participating in an approved training program.
Job Search Allowance: Funding is available to pay travel expenses for out-of-area job searches. (Pre-approval is required.)
Relocation Allowance: Funding is available to pay a portion of a worker's moving expenses when the worker has obtained suitable employment in another area. (Pre-approval is required.)
Filing A NAFTA/TAA Petition
Petitions can be filed by three or more workers, their union, a company official, or a duly authorized community representative (e.g., a local elected government official). Forms may be obtained from the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG) or at a local Michigan Works! Service Center location.
NAFTA/TAA petitions should be submitted to:
Bureau of Workforce Programs
Department of Labor & Economic Growth
Victor Office Center - 5th Floor
201 North Washington Square
Lansing, Michigan 48913
Phone: (517) 373-6234, Fax: (517) 373-4648
TTY: (toll-free) 1-888-605-6722
Workers whose petitions for NAFTA-TAA are denied by OTAA may appeal the denial or request administrative reconsideration of OTAA's finding within 30 days after publication of the final determination in the Federal Register. Workers may also file an appeal seeking judicial review of the U.S. Department of Labor's negative determination or redetermination within 60 days of publication of the denial in the Federal Register.
Benefits Appeal Rights
Workers must meet the eligibility requirements established for each benefit in order to receive that benefit. All benefits have different time constraints; therefore, the application for each benefit must be filed on a timely basis. An applicant who is not satisfied with the determination for a particular benefit has the same appeal rights that are provided under State Unemployment Compensation Law. Appeal rights and time limits for filing and appeal are explained in the determination notice, which is sent to each applicant.
Ms. Dell Alston, Director
Employment Service Program Development and Services Division
Employment Service Agency
Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth
7310 Woodward Avenue, 4th Floor
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Phone: (313) 872-1885, Fax: (313)876-5760
TTY: (toll-free) 1-888-605-6722
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