This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-06-43 
entitled 'Trade Adjustment Assistance: Most Workers in Five Layoffs 
Received Services, but Better Outreach Needed on New Benefits' which 
was released on February 15, 2006. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

Report to Congressional Requesters: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

January 2006: 

Trade Adjustment Assistance: 

Most Workers in Five Layoffs Received Services, but Better Outreach 
Needed on New Benefits: 

GAO-06-43: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-43, a report to congressional requesters: 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Little is known nationally about the extent to which workers laid off 
as a result of international trade use the variety of federally funded 
reemployment services available to them. GAO was asked to study the 
experiences of workers affected by a small number of trade-related 
layoffs. GAO examined (1) the extent to which workers accessed 
federally funded reemployment services and the mix of services 
received, (2) the employment outcomes these workers achieved, and (3) 
the extent to which workers used the new health insurance and wage 
insurance benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, 
and the factors affecting their participation. 

What GAO Found: 

At all five trade-related plant closures that GAO studied, about three-
quarters or more of the workers received reemployment assistance 
through a one-stop center, and they most often received one-on-one 
services such as job search assistance, according to our survey 
estimates. About a third or less of the workers at most sites received 
training and long-term income support, with workers over age 55 less 
likely to enter training than younger workers. Workers who did not 
visit a center most often said they needed to find a job right away and 
did not think they had time to visit a center, or did not think they 
needed help finding a new job. 

At the time GAO conducted its survey, most of the workers had either 
found a new job or retired. At three sites, over 60 percent of the 
workers were reemployed. At another site, only about 40 percent were 
reemployed, but another third had retired. And at the final site, about 
a third were reemployed, but this site had the highest proportion of 
workers who entered training and most of them were likely still in 
training. The majority of reemployed workers at four of five sites 
earned less than they had previously—replacing about 80 percent or more 
of their prior wages—but at one site over half the reemployed workers 
matched their prior wages. 

Few workers at each site received either the health insurance benefit 
or the wage insurance benefit available to some older workers. No more 
than 12 percent of workers at each site received the health insurance 
benefit, and at four of five sites, fewer than half the workers who 
visited a one-stop center were aware of it. Many workers did not use it 
because they had other coverage or because the cost of available health 
insurance was too high. No more than one in five of the older workers 
at each site received the wage insurance benefit, and at two sites, 
fewer than half the older workers who visited a center were aware of 
it. 

Most Workers in Four of Five Sites Found Jobs or Retired: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Secretary of Labor provide guidance to state 
and local officials on how to ensure that potentially eligible workers 
are made aware of the new health insurance and wage insurance benefits. 
In its comments, Labor agreed with our findings and recommendations and 
noted steps it was taking to implement them. 

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-43. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Sigurd Nilsen at (202) 
512-7215 or nilsens@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Most Workers at Five Sites Received Some Reemployment Assistance, but 
Generally Less Than a Third Entered Training: 

Most Workers at Four of the Five Sites Found a Job or Retired after 
Being Laid Off, and Employment Outcomes Varied by Services Received: 

A Small Proportion of Workers in the Five Sites Received Health 
Insurance or Wage Insurance Benefits, but Many Workers Were Unaware of 
These Benefits: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Detailed Breakdown of Workers' Training Providers and 
Costs by Site: 

Appendix III: Detailed Breakdown of Participation in HCTC: 

Appendix IV: Regression Analysis of Survey Data: 

Appendix V: General Mills Plant Closure (Hazelwood, Mo.) 

Appendix VI: Lear Plant Closure (Lewistown, Pa.) 

Appendix VII: Weyerhaeuser Plant Closure (Longview, Wash.) 

Appendix VIII: Toro Plant Closure (Oxford, Miss.) 

Appendix IX: Sanmina-SCI Plant Closure (Wilmington, Mass.) 

Appendix X: Comments from the Department of Labor: 

Appendix XI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Related GAO Products: 

Tables: 

Table 1: TAA Program Fund Allocations for Case Study States, Fiscal 
Year 2004: 

Table 2: Workers in TAA-and WIA-Funded Training by Program Type: 

Table 3: Maximum Allowable TAA Training Costs per Worker: 

Table 4: Average Pre-layoff Hourly Wage and Wage Replacement Rates: 

Table 5: Monthly Costs for HCTC-Eligible Health Insurance Plans 
Available to Dislocated Workers at Each Site: 

Table 6: Number of Focus Groups and Participants by Site: 

Table 7: Survey Response Rates by Site: 

Table 8: Workers in TAA-and WIA-Funded Training by Provider Type: 

Table 9: Workers in TAA-and WIA-Funded Training by Expected Program 
Cost: 

Table 10: Workers' participation in HCTC: 

Table 11: Key Reasons Workers Gave for Not Participating in HCTC: 

Table 12: Numbers and Percentages of Workers Who Visited a One-Stop 
Center, by Sex and Site, and Odds and Odds Ratios Derived from Them: 

Table 13: Odds Ratios Describing the Effects of Various Factors on the 
Likelihoods of Visiting a One-Stop Center, Receiving Training, and 
Receiving HCTC: 

Table 14: Profile of St. Louis County, Mo. 

Table 15: Characteristics of Workers at General Mills' Hazelwood Plant: 

Table 16: Profile of Mifflin County, Pa. 

Table 17: Characteristics of Workers at Lear's Lewistown Plant: 

Table 18: Profile of Cowlitz County, Wash. 

Table 19: Characteristics of Workers at Weyerhaeuser's Longview Plant: 

Table 20: Profile of Lafayette County, Miss. 

Table 21: Characteristics of TAA-Certified Workers at Toro's Oxford 
Plant: 

Table 22: Profile of Middlesex County, Mass. 

Table 23: Characteristics of Workers at Sanmina-SCI's Wilmington Plant: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Case Study Sites: 

Figure 2: Most Dislocated Workers Visited a One-Stop Center: 

Figure 3: Most Workers Received One-on-One Assistance at One-Stop 
Centers: 

Figure 4: Service Tracks Available at the Lewistown, Pa., One-Stop 
Center: 

Figure 5: Percentage of Workers Who Went to a One-Stop Center within 2 
Months of Being Laid Off: 

Figure 6: One-Third or Fewer of Workers at Most Sites Enrolled in 
Training: 

Figure 7: Workers in TAA-or WIA-Funded Training by Expected Length of 
Training Program: 

Figure 8: Number of Months Workers Received Income Support Benefits (UI 
and in Some Cases Extended Income Support): 

Figure 9: Most Workers at Four of Five Sites Had Found Jobs or Retired 
at the Time of the Survey: 

Figure 10: Number of Months Workers Took to Find Their Current Jobs: 

Figure 11: Workers Replaced About 80 Percent or More of Wages on 
Average: 

Figure 12: Most Workers Received Benefits in New Jobs: 

Figure 13: More Than Half of Reemployed Workers Returned to 
Manufacturing: 

Figure 14: Across Sites, HCTC Participation Was Relatively Low: 

Figure 15: Percentage of Workers Who Visited a One-Stop Center Who Were 
Aware of HCTC: 

Figure 16: Reasons for Not Participating in HCTC, among Workers Who 
Were Aware of HCTC but Chose Not to Participate: 

Figure 17: Few Workers Participated in ATAA: 

Figure 18: Percentage of Older Workers Who Visited a One-Stop Center 
and Were Aware of ATAA: 

Figure 19: Time Line of General Mills Plant Closure, Hazelwood, Mo. 

Figure 20: Time Line of Lear Plant Closure, Lewistown, Pa. 

Figure 21: Time Line of Weyerhaeuser Plant Closure, Longview, Wash. 

Figure 22: Time Line of Toro Plant Closure, Oxford, Miss. 

Figure 23: Time Line of Sanmina-SCI Plant Closure, Wilmington, Mass. 

Abbreviations: 

ATAA: Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance: 

COBRA: Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985: 

ES: Employment Service: 

GED: General Equivalency Diploma: 

HCTC: Health Coverage Tax Credit: 

IRS: Internal Revenue Service: 

TAA: Trade Adjustment Assistance: 

UI: Unemployment Insurance: 

WARN: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act: 

WIA: Workforce Investment Act: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

January 31, 2006: 

The Honorable Charles Grassley, Chairman: 
The Honorable Max Baucus, Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Finance: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Michael Enzi, Chairman: 
The Honorable Edward Kennedy, Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: 
United States Senate: 

Manufacturing workers in the United States face an uncertain future, as 
manufacturing employment continues to decline. The rate of 
manufacturing job loss has slowed since early 2003, but manufacturing 
employment has continued to fall despite overall employment growth. 
Between January 2003 and June 2005, manufacturing employment in the 
United States fell by 3.9 percent while overall employment increased by 
2.6 percent. Finding a new job may be especially challenging for 
manufacturing workers who lose their jobs as a result of international 
trade, in part because they may be unable to adapt to the changing U.S. 
labor market. These workers tend to be older and to have fewer 
transferable skills than other laid-off workers, according to one 
study, making reemployment assistance especially important for 
them.[Footnote 1] 

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, established in 1962, is 
the federal government's primary effort targeted at manufacturing 
workers who lose their jobs as a result of international trade. The 
program, funded at $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2005, is focused on 
manufacturing workers laid off as a result of increased import 
competition or a shift of production abroad. TAA provides up to 130 
weeks of training and up to 104 weeks of income support benefits to 
supplement the regular 26 weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits 
available to workers in most states. The TAA Reform Act of 2002 added 
two new benefits to the program--health insurance assistance and wage 
insurance for older workers. In addition, the federal government funds 
reemployment services such as job search assistance for dislocated 
workers and job seekers more generally, including trade-affected 
workers, through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dislocated Worker 
program and the Employment Service (ES) program. The U.S. Department of 
Labor (Labor) oversees the TAA, WIA Dislocated Worker, and ES programs, 
which are generally implemented at the state and local level through a 
network of one-stop centers that provide access to a variety of 
employment and training services. 

Despite the availability of a broad array of federally-funded services, 
little is known nationally about the extent to which workers affected 
by international trade use these services. Labor tracks the number of 
individuals who receive services through the TAA, WIA Dislocated 
Worker, and ES programs, but these data do not tell us the proportion 
of workers affected by a given trade-related layoff who seek services 
or the full range of services they receive. Workers affected by a trade-
related layoff could, for example, look for a job on their own; they 
could visit a one-stop center and receive reemployment services such as 
workshops and one-on-one assistance; or they could receive training and 
extended income support. To better understand how trade- affected 
workers utilize federally funded assistance, and what employment 
outcomes they achieve, you asked us to examine the experiences of 
workers affected by a small number of trade-related layoffs. 
Specifically, in this report we examine (1) the extent to which workers 
accessed federally funded reemployment services and the mix of services 
received, (2) the employment outcomes these workers achieved, and (3) 
the extent to which workers used the new health insurance and wage 
insurance benefits under the TAA program, and the factors affecting 
their participation. 

To address these questions, we selected plant closures at five 
locations: General Mills, Inc. (baked goods, Missouri); Lear 
Corporation (automotive carpets, Pennsylvania); Sanmina-SCI Corporation 
(printed circuit boards, Massachusetts); The Toro Company (lawnmower 
and snow-thrower engines, Mississippi); and Weyerhaeuser Company (fine 
paper and pulp, Washington).[Footnote 2] These plant closures all 
occurred since January 2003, and Labor determined that all were related 
to international trade. In the aggregate, about 1,500 workers were 
affected by these closures and were potentially eligible for the TAA 
program, or almost half of 1 percent of the estimated number of workers 
covered by the 3,618 TAA petitions certified nationally during fiscal 
years 2003 and 2004.[Footnote 3] The General Mills plant (near St. 
Louis) and the Sanmina-SCI plant (near Boston) were located in large 
metropolitan areas, the Lear and Toro plants were located in rural 
counties, and the Weyerhaeuser plant was located in a medium-sized 
town. We selected these sites because the plants manufactured a variety 
of products, were located in different regions of the country, 
experienced a layoff event that affected between 100 and 500 workers, 
and occurred after the TAA Reform Act of 2002 was enacted (see fig. 1). 
The Toro layoff in Mississippi affected over 100 workers total, but 
just 40 of them were determined by Labor to have lost their jobs as a 
result of international trade and were potentially eligible for TAA 
services.[Footnote 4] To learn about strategies to help affected 
workers, we visited each layoff site and interviewed state and local 
officials, company and union officials, and training providers. To 
learn more about workers' experiences with employment and training 
services and their reemployment outcomes, we conducted a telephone 
survey of workers affected by each layoff. Survey response rates for 
each layoff ranged from 66 percent to 86 percent. We used the responses 
to make estimates about the entire population of each site, after 
conducting an analysis of the difference between the survey respondents 
and non-respondents. All percentage estimates from our survey have 
margins of error of plus or minus 7 percent or less unless otherwise 
noted. All wage related estimates from our survey have relative margins 
of error of plus or minus 10 percent or less unless otherwise noted. 
(For detailed survey results by site, see GAO-06- 44SP.) Using data 
from our worker survey, we performed multivariate regression analyses 
to estimate the effects of factors such as age, gender, and education 
level on the likelihood of receiving training and other services. We 
augmented the survey with several focus group discussions of two to 
seven workers at each site. We also reviewed state administrative data 
on workers' demographics and the services they received, as well as 
state wage records on employment outcomes, when available. We assessed 
all data for reliability and found them to be sufficiently reliable for 
the purposes of our reporting objectives. We performed our work from 
November 2004 through December 2005 in accordance with generally 
accepted government auditing standards. (See app. I for more details on 
our objectives, scope, and methodology.) 

Figure 1: Case Study Sites: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

Results in Brief: 

At all five sites that we studied, the majority of affected workers 
received some reemployment assistance through a one-stop center, but at 
most sites about a third or less received training and long-term income 
support. Between 72 and 100 percent of the workers in each site went to 
a one-stop center, and they most commonly received one-on-one 
assistance such as job search assistance, according to our survey 
estimates. Women and workers with lower pre-layoff wages were 
significantly more likely to visit a one-stop center than men and 
workers with higher pre-layoff wages. At four of the five sites that we 
studied, about a quarter or less of the workers did not go to a one- 
stop center. These workers most commonly reported that they needed to 
find a job right away and did not think they had time to visit a one- 
stop center, or did not need help finding a job. While most workers at 
each site visited a one-stop center, a minority at each site enrolled 
in training. The proportion who enrolled in training ranged from 9 to 
39 percent at the five sites, with no more than a third in training at 
four of the sites. While about half the workers received income support 
benefits for over 6 months at three of five sites, about one-third or 
less of the workers in all five sites received long-term benefits--for 
1 year or longer--which are generally available only to trade-affected 
workers in training who have exhausted their Unemployment Insurance 
benefits. Older workers were less likely to enter training, according 
to analysis of our survey data. For example, over half of the 
Weyerhaeuser workers in Washington were age 55 or older, and only 5 
percent of these older workers entered training while almost 60 percent 
retired. 

Most of the affected workers had either found a job or retired at the 
time of our survey. At three of the sites, 60 percent or more of the 
workers had found jobs. In another site, Weyerhaeuser in Washington, 39 
percent had found jobs, and an additional 32 percent had opted for 
retirement. In the fifth site, Sanmina-SCI in Massachusetts, only 37 
percent of the workers had found new jobs, but this layoff occurred 
more recently and had the highest proportion of workers who entered 
training, most of whom were expected to still be in training at the 
time of the survey. The majority of reemployed workers in four of the 
five sites earned less in their new jobs than they had previously 
earned, but typically replaced about 80 percent or more of their prior 
earnings. In one site, however, slightly more than half of the 
reemployed workers matched their prior wages. More than half of 
reemployed workers returned to the manufacturing sector, and at most 
sites workers who returned to manufacturing replaced about the same 
proportion of their pre-layoff wages as workers reemployed in other 
industries. Workers who entered training replaced slightly less of 
their wages than workers who did not in all but one site, and those who 
were trained generally left manufacturing for another industry. Our 
study cannot be used to determine whether one set of services was more 
effective than another, but only to document what happened to different 
workers who chose different services. Labor has funded a long-term 
impact evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program that may 
tell us more about the effectiveness of various service strategies. The 
study is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008. 

Few workers at each site received either the health insurance or wage 
insurance benefit, but many workers told us they were unaware of these 
benefits. Participation rates for the health insurance benefit, which 
covers 65 percent of workers' monthly premiums for eligible health 
insurance plans, did not exceed 12 percent of all workers at any site, 
according to our survey. At most sites, less than half of affected 
workers who visited one-stop centers said they were aware of the health 
insurance benefit, although information on the program was provided to 
them at information sessions. Workers in several sites told us they 
might have applied for the health insurance benefit if they had known 
about it. Yet, of the workers aware of the health insurance benefit at 
each site who did not use it, about half or more said they did not need 
it because they had other coverage available or they could not afford 
health insurance even with the benefit's 65 percent tax credit. For 
example, the average cost of insurance premiums for a family plan in 
Mississippi was about $1,000 per month, leaving workers with an out-of- 
pocket cost of about $350 per month, roughly 41 percent of the maximum 
monthly Unemployment Insurance benefit of about $840 in Mississippi. 
Workers and officials also noted limited participation and awareness 
for the wage insurance benefit--which provides a wage subsidy for 
workers 50 years of age or older who find a job within 6 months of 
their layoff without training. At four of the five sites, between 21 
and 72 percent of workers were potentially eligible for the wage 
insurance benefit, and fewer than one in five of these workers received 
the benefit at any site. Workers at the fifth site were not certified 
as eligible for the wage insurance program. Workers said in our focus 
groups and on our survey that they had not participated in the program 
because they were unaware of it, did not want to forfeit the 
opportunity to take training for the $10,000 maximum wage subsidy, or 
were unable to find work within 6 months of their layoff. 

We are recommending that the Secretary of Labor provide guidance to 
states and local one-stop centers to ensure that potentially eligible 
workers are made aware of and understand the new health and wage 
insurance benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. In 
its written comments, Labor agreed with our findings and 
recommendations and noted steps it was taking to implement them. 

Background: 

Dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of 
international trade are largely provided services through three 
federally funded employment and training programs--the TAA program, the 
WIA Dislocated Worker program, and the Wagner-Peyser ES program. These 
services are provided through a consolidated service delivery structure 
called the one-stop system. In order to encourage the streamlined 
delivery of employment services, WIA was enacted in 1998 and required 
that the TAA, WIA, ES, and other federally funded programs provide 
employment and training services through the one-stop center system 
made up of nearly 2,000 individual one-stop centers operating in about 
600 local workforce areas across the nation. These program services may 
be provided directly at a one-stop center, or at other locations 
through referrals. 

Trade Adjustment Assistance Program: 

The TAA program was designed to assist workers who have lost their jobs 
as a result of international trade. In order for workers to be eligible 
for TAA benefits, Labor must certify that their layoff was trade 
affected. This certification process begins when a petition on behalf 
of a group of laid-off workers is filed with Labor. Petitions may be 
filed by a group of at least three affected workers, the employer 
experiencing the layoff, a union, or a state or local workforce agency. 
Labor has 40 days to investigate whether workers were laid off as a 
result of international trade, for example because of a shift in 
production to another country or an increase in imports of articles 
like or similar to what the workers were involved in producing. If 
Labor certifies the petition, it notifies the state in which the layoff 
occurred, which then has responsibility for contacting the workers 
eligible for TAA program benefits under the petition. States must 
inform workers individually about the benefits available to them as 
well as how to apply for benefits. 

The TAA program provides two primary benefits--training and extended 
income support. States have responsibility for approving training and 
determining eligibility for extended income support, while local one- 
stop centers are the main point of intake and actual delivery of TAA 
services and benefits. Training benefits include vocational training, 
on-the-job training, and remedial training (e.g., English as a second 
language or literacy). Participants in TAA-approved training must 
attend training full-time. Program participants may also receive a 
total of 104 weeks of extended income support beyond the 26 weeks of UI 
benefits available in most states. This includes 78 weeks of extended 
income support while workers are completing vocational training, and 
another 26 weeks if workers are completing remedial training. During 
their first 26 weeks of extended income support, participants must 
either be enrolled in training, have completed training, or have a 
waiver from this requirement. To qualify for extended income support, 
participants must be enrolled in training by the later of two dates: 
either 16 weeks after being laid off or 8 weeks after Labor certified 
their petition. The maximum level of extended income support payments 
in a state is set by statute at the state's maximum UI benefit level. 

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Reform Act of 2002 added several 
new benefits to the TAA program, including the Health Coverage Tax 
Credit (HCTC).[Footnote 5] Workers must be enrolled in training or have 
a waiver from this requirement to be eligible for the HCTC benefit that 
helps workers pay for health care insurance through a tax credit 
covering 65 percent of their premiums for qualified plans. Workers can 
choose to receive the tax credit in one of two ways--as an advanced 
option that covers 65 percent of their monthly premiums allowing them 
to lower the amount they have to pay out of pocket for health coverage, 
or as an end of year tax credit that is claimed on their income taxes. 
The tax credit is administered at the federal level by the Internal 
Revenue Service (IRS) and three federal departments--Treasury, Labor 
and Health and Human Services--share responsibility for implementing 
HCTC. There are three health plan options that are automatically HCTC- 
eligible: 

COBRA continuation plans. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget 
Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985,[Footnote 6] certain employers with 
20 or more employees are required to offer 18 to 36 months of continued 
health care coverage to former employees and their dependents who lose 
health coverage due to certain circumstances, such as when a worker is 
laid off. Generally, health care insurers may charge individuals 
purchasing COBRA continuation coverage no more than 102 percent of the 
total premium. 

Spousal coverage. Health care insurance obtained through a worker's 
spouse's employer is also HCTC-eligible, provided that the employer 
contributed less than 50 percent toward the cost of coverage. 

Individual market plans. Workers may use HCTC to cover a portion of the 
monthly cost of individually purchased health insurance coverage if the 
worker purchased the coverage at least 30 days prior to being laid off. 

In addition to the three options that are automatically qualified for 
HCTC, the TAA Reform Act allows states to designate other coverage 
alternatives--called state-qualified options--for HCTC recipients. For 
example, states may make arrangements with individual health insurers, 
among others, to provide HCTC-eligible coverage to TAA participants. 

The Reform Act also established as a demonstration project a wage 
insurance benefit for older workers--known as the Alternative Trade 
Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) program. This program supplements the 
incomes of workers 50 years of age or older who forgo TAA-funded 
training and are able to find jobs within 26 weeks of being laid off 
that pay less than $50,000 a year and pay less than what they 
previously earned. If workers meet these criteria they are eligible to 
receive 50 percent of the difference between their new and old wages up 
to a maximum of $10,000 over 2 years. Older trade-affected workers are 
only eligible for the wage insurance program if the petition for TAA 
assistance that was filed with Labor included a specific request for 
ATAA eligibility. 

About $750 million was appropriated for income support for trade- 
affected workers for fiscal year 2005, while another $259 million was 
appropriated for training. Labor allocates 75 percent of these training 
funds to states according to a formula that takes into account each 
state's previous year allocations, accrued expenditures and participant 
levels. Labor holds the remaining 25 percent of training funds in 
reserve, to distribute to states throughout the year according to need. 
To cover administrative costs associated with the TAA program, Labor 
allocates to each state an additional 15 percent of its program 
allocation (see table 1). For example, Pennsylvania was allocated $20.6 
million in fiscal year 2004 to provide trade-affected workers with 
training and other services, and an additional $3.1 million was 
allocated to cover costs associated with administering the TAA program. 
Labor sets and tracks national TAA performance goals for job placement, 
job retention and wage replacement outcomes, but there are no 
individual state performance goals. 

Table 1: TAA Program Fund Allocations for Case Study States, Fiscal 
Year 2004: 

Dollars in millions. 

State: Missouri; 
TAA training funds: $4.8; 
TAA administrative funds: $0.7. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
TAA training funds: $20.6; 
TAA administrative funds: $3.1. 

State: Washington; 
TAA training funds: $13.4; 
TAA administrative funds: $2. 

State: Mississippi; 
TAA training funds: $1.7; 
TAA administrative funds: $0.3. 

State: Massachusetts; 
TAA training funds: $5.2; 
TAA administrative funds: $0.8. 

Source: U.S. Department of Labor. 

[End of table] 

WIA Dislocated Worker Program: 

The WIA Dislocated Worker program is available to dislocated workers in 
general and is not reserved for those affected by international trade. 
A dislocated worker is an individual who (1) has been terminated or 
laid off, or who has received a notice of termination or layoff, from 
employment; is eligible for, or has exhausted entitlement to, UI or is 
not eligible but has been employed for a sufficient duration to 
demonstrate attachment to the workforce; and is unlikely to return to 
his previous industry or occupation; (2) has been terminated or laid 
off, or has received a notice of termination or layoff, from employment 
as a result of any permanent plant closure of, or substantial layoff at 
a plant, facility, or enterprise; (3) was self employed but is 
unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community 
in which the individual resides or because of natural disasters; or (4) 
is a displaced homemaker. 

Labor distributes 80 percent of the WIA Dislocated Worker funds ($1.5 
billion in fiscal year 2005) directly to states, the District of 
Columbia, and Puerto Rico based on a formula. States then distribute 60 
percent of these funds to local areas by formula to support WIA 
services for dislocated workers. Each state can reserve no more than 25 
percent of its dislocated worker funds to provide rapid response 
services to help dislocated workers transition quickly to reemployment, 
and up to 15 percent for other statewide activities. Labor retains 20 
percent of dislocated worker funds ($283 million in fiscal year 2005) 
in a national reserve account to be used to provide states with 
national emergency grants, demonstrations, and technical 
assistance.[Footnote 7] 

Under the WIA Dislocated Worker program there are three sequential 
levels of service available through the one-stop center system--core, 
intensive, and training. The initial core services--including job 
search and placement assistance, the provision of labor market 
information, and preliminary assessment of skills and needs--are 
available to everyone. If a dislocated worker is determined to be 
unable to find a job or has a job that does not lead to self- 
sufficiency after core services, intensive services may be made 
available, which include comprehensive assessments, development of an 
individual employment plan, and case management. Dislocated workers who 
are determined to be unable to obtain or retain employment after 
intensive services can move on to training. At this level, dislocated 
workers can receive services including occupational skills training and 
on-the-job training. 

The 1988 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act 
generally requires employers with 100 or more workers to give notice-- 
often called a WARN notice--to the affected workers' representatives 
(e.g., a labor union) or the workers themselves if they have no 
representatives, as well as to the state dislocated worker unit 60 days 
in advance of expected plant closings or mass layoffs.[Footnote 8] Once 
an employer files a WARN notice with the state's dislocated worker 
unit, a rapid response team is mobilized to provide immediate and on- 
site contact with the employer experiencing layoffs as well as with 
employee representatives to assess the needs of affected workers. 
Generally workers are invited to attend a rapid response meeting where 
they are provided with information about UI and other federally funded 
employment and training services also available through the one-stop 
center system. Typically, if they have reserved adequate funds to 
provide rapid response services, states may also use rapid response 
funds for services including providing additional assistance to local 
areas that are experiencing increased unemployment, and to pay for 
direct services such as training. States can also apply to Labor for 
national emergency grant funds to provide additional employment and 
training services to workers affected by mass layoffs and plant 
closings, or to provide temporary assistance to workers affected by 
natural disasters and other catastrophic events. 

Labor monitors program performance by requiring states and localities 
to track job seekers who receive core services that require significant 
staff assistance, intensive services, and training. States and local 
areas are required to monitor the outcomes of WIA Dislocated Worker 
program participants on measures including job placement, job 
retention, and earnings change. State performance targets are 
established annually through negotiations between individual states and 
Labor. States, in turn, negotiate WIA performance levels with each 
local area. Labor holds states accountable for achieving their WIA 
performance levels by tying those levels to financial sanctions and 
incentive funding. 

Employment Service: 

The ES was created in 1933 by the Wagner-Peyser Act and was designed to 
link job seekers with employers. ES is a partner in the one-stop center 
system and offers a range of services that are available to all job 
seekers and employers. About $800 million in ES funds was provided to 
states for fiscal year 2005. For job seekers, ES provides services such 
as job search assistance, job referral, and assessments, as well as one-
on-one case management. ES also offers employer services including 
recruiting workers, screening applicants and helping employers manage 
layoffs. Labor tracks program performance by measuring outcomes of job 
seekers who received ES services against national goals related to job 
placement and job retention. 

Most Workers at Five Sites Received Some Reemployment Assistance, but 
Generally Less Than a Third Entered Training: 

At all five sites, the majority of affected workers visited a one-stop 
center and received some services, but at four of five sites only about 
a third or less received training and long-term income support. At 
least two-thirds of the workers in each site (ranging from 72 to 100 
percent) went to a one-stop center, and they most commonly received one-
on-one assistance such as job search assistance, according to our 
survey estimates. In four of the five sites we studied, workers who did 
not go to a one-stop center most commonly reported that they needed to 
find a job right away and did not think they had time to visit a one- 
stop center, or did not need help finding a job. Generally, one-third 
or less of the workers in each site (ranging from 9 to 39 percent) 
enrolled in training. Similarly, about one-third or less of the workers 
in each site received long-term income support benefits--for 1 year or 
longer--which are available to trade-affected workers in training who 
have exhausted their UI benefits. Older workers were less likely to 
enter training, according to our survey data. 

Most Workers at Each Site Visited a One-Stop Center and Received One- 
on-One Assistance: 

Over 70 percent of workers at each site visited a one-stop center, 
according to our survey (see fig. 2). While all TAA-eligible Toro 
workers visited a one-stop center since being laid off, over 80 percent 
of Toro workers who were not eligible for TAA also visited a one-stop 
center. Workers with lower pre-layoff wages were significantly more 
likely to visit a one-stop center than workers with higher pre-layoff 
wages, and women were twice as likely as men to visit a one-stop 
center, even after accounting for other factors such as time since 
being laid off.[Footnote 9] General Mills workers were also 
significantly less likely than workers in the other sites to visit a 
one-stop center, which may have been linked to the fact that the 
General Mills plant closure was TAA-certified several months after the 
layoffs there began. According to union officials, many of the workers 
had already been laid off by the time the petition was certified and, 
because of this, Missouri state officials noted they had difficulty 
reaching these workers to inform them about available benefits and 
services. 

Figure 2: Most Dislocated Workers Visited a One-Stop Center: 

[See PDF for image] 

Note: In some cases, not all workers who were asked a particular 
question in our survey answered the question. For all figures in this 
report that use data from our survey, we have excluded from our 
calculations any workers who were asked but either did not answer the 
relevant question(s) or responded don't know. 

[End of figure] 

Workers most commonly received one-on-one assistance such as job search 
assistance (see fig. 3). Over half of the workers in each site reported 
on our survey that they received one-on-one assistance at a one-stop 
center, for example with how to look for a job or how to enroll in 
training. Workers were somewhat less likely to receive assessments, 
attend workshops, or use self-serve one-stop center services on their 
own. For example, at one-stop centers at each site we visited, workers 
were able to use computers to conduct on-line job searches or to up- 
date their resumes. However, some workers at these sites told us that 
they did not use these one-stop center resources, because they could 
use their home computers to access on-line job banks or to work on 
their resumes. Additionally, most workers who visited a one-stop center 
in four of the five sites we studied reported that one-on-one 
assistance was more helpful than services such as workshops and 
assessments. 

Figure 3: Most Workers Received One-on-One Assistance at One-Stop 
Centers: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

To address the needs of some of these trade-affected workers, local one-
stop staff at one site designed a new service delivery process. Staff 
at the Lewistown, Pa., one-stop center developed three service tracks 
as a way to streamline the assistance they provided to workers affected 
by the Lear plant closure (see fig. 4). Workers were placed into one of 
three service tracks depending on their interests and goals. Workers 
interested in getting a job right away were placed in the job seeking 
track that included a series of workshops on interviewing and resume 
writing, while workers interested in retraining were placed in the 
training/education track that included several assessment tests to 
measure their basic skills and to identify their career interests. A 
third service track was designed for workers undecided about retraining 
or getting a job and included a combination of workshops and 
assessments aimed at helping workers determine if their job skills are 
in-demand and if their skill sets need upgrading through training. 

Figure 4: Service Tracks Available at the Lewistown, Pa., One-Stop 
Center: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

States used a variety of federal funds to provide reemployment services 
to trade-affected workers. In all five sites we visited, state or local 
officials told us that TAA administrative funds were insufficient to 
provide TAA participants with case management services, and they relied 
on other funding sources, particularly ES or WIA, to fund these 
services.[Footnote 10] Only two states--Missouri and Washington--used a 
portion of their TAA administrative funds to fund one-on-one case 
management for TAA participants at sites we studied. The proportion of 
TAA participants who received services funded through WIA among the 
sites we studied ranged from 8 percent of Toro workers in Mississippi 
to 37 percent of General Mills workers in Missouri, according to 
administrative data. 

Local areas experienced some difficulties in using local WIA resources 
to serve trade-affected workers, according to officials in the sites we 
visited, and in response three states used alternative funding sources 
to provide these services. At some sites existing case management 
resources were not sufficient to meet the needs of trade-affected 
workers as well as other workers using one-stop center services. For 
example, one-stop officials in Massachusetts told us that they are 
reluctant to dedicate WIA case management resources to assist TAA 
participants, because WIA case managers are already busy working with 
WIA program participants. In addition, concerns about WIA performance 
measures, especially those related to reemployment and wage 
replacement, may serve as a disincentive for local areas to co-enroll 
TAA participants. According to state and local officials in two states, 
TAA participants tend to have higher earnings in their previous jobs 
than the average local job-seeker and are less likely to find jobs that 
pay at or near what they previously earned, which can count against 
their WIA performance measures. In response to these concerns, three of 
the states we visited also used national emergency grants-- 
discretionary funds that Labor awards to states experiencing large 
layoffs--or statewide rapid response funds to serve trade-affected 
workers. Massachusetts, for example, initially used a portion of its 
rapid response set aside funds to serve Sanmina-SCI workers, and later 
used $540,000 in national emergency grant funds. These funds were used 
to support additional case managers to provide Sanmina-SCI workers with 
one-on-one assistance. Similarly, Missouri received about $1.4 million 
in national emergency grant funds to hire additional staff including 
case managers and to provide training for dislocated workers affected 
by several lay-offs that occurred in the St. Louis area, including the 
General Mills plant closure. 

To address concerns that co-enrolling TAA participants in WIA may 
negatively affect performance measures, Labor recently piloted an 
initiative to encourage states to co-enroll participants in the WIA 
Dislocated Worker program. The seven states participating in this 
initiative are required to co-enroll all new TAA participants in the 
WIA Dislocated Worker program from October 2005 to the end of June 
2006.[Footnote 11] States may exclude these TAA participants' 
employment and wage replacement outcomes from their WIA performance 
calculations when the outcomes adversely affect their statewide 
performance. Labor currently intends to track co-enrolled participants' 
outcomes across these seven states for program years 2006 through 2008. 

Workers Most Often Visited One-Stop Centers for Job Search Assistance 
and to Learn More about Available Services and Benefits: 

Workers most often visited one-stop centers for two reasons--to learn 
more about available services and benefits and to get job search 
assistance. At least 80 percent of workers who visited a one-stop 
center at each site we studied told us that the prospect of learning 
more about benefits and services and getting assistance with finding a 
new job motivated them to initially visit a one-stop center. According 
to state or one-stop center officials in four of the five sites we 
studied, many workers do not have a specific course of action in mind 
when they first visit a one-stop center and are interested in getting 
more information about available services and benefits. Some workers, 
however, are primarily interested in finding a new job and visit one- 
stop centers for that purpose. Workers also reported that they visited 
one-stop centers for other reasons including that they heard from 
friends and co-workers that the one-stop center offered helpful 
services, they were interested in enrolling in training for a new 
occupation, or to maintain their UI benefits. Most workers at each site 
learned about reemployment services available at the one-stop center 
from a meeting held at or around the time of their layoff that provided 
them with information about reemployment services, often called a rapid 
response meeting. While over 70 percent of the workers at each site 
attended rapid response meetings, more workers at the Toro plant in 
Mississippi and the Sanmina-SCI plant in Massachusetts--where rapid 
response meetings were held on company time--attended these meetings 
than workers at the other sites.[Footnote 12] 

At four of the five sites, between 12 and 28 percent of the workers did 
not visit a one-stop center.[Footnote 13] Across these sites, between 
47 and 71 percent of workers who did not go to a one-stop center said 
they did not need help finding a job. Workers also often told us that 
they did not go to the one-stop center because they needed to find a 
job right away and did not think they had time to visit a one-stop 
center. Workers less commonly reported that they did not visit a one- 
stop center because they were unaware that job search and training 
services were available at one-stop centers, that the one-stop center 
was located too far away from where they lived, or that it was 
difficult to get to the one-stop center. 

Over 60 percent of workers at each site who visited a one-stop center 
did so in the first two months after being laid off (see fig. 5). Some 
workers--less than 10 percent of workers at each site--went to a one- 
stop center even before they lost their jobs. Workers in four of the 
five sites we visited told us that they were aware of the TAA program's 
training enrollment deadline and enrolled in training quickly. Some 
workers, however, told us they initially felt that they could find 
employment without the help of the one-stop center, and only used one- 
stop center services when they were unable to find a job or a job that 
paid close to their former wage. 

Figure 5: Percentage of Workers Who Went to a One-Stop Center within 2 
Months of Being Laid Off: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

About One-Third or Less of Workers Generally Received Training and Long-
Term Income Support: 

At most sites, relatively few workers had enrolled in training since 
being laid off. In four sites, less than one-third of workers were 
currently or had been enrolled in training at the time of our survey. 
At the remaining site, Sanmina-SCI in Massachusetts, 39 percent of the 
workers had enrolled in training (see fig. 6). Even after accounting 
for other factors that could affect training enrollment, such as 
workers' age and gender, Sanmina-SCI workers were significantly more 
likely to enter training than workers at all the other sites.[Footnote 
14] Among the Toro workers in Mississippi who were not TAA-certified, 6 
percent enrolled in training, compared to the 18 percent of TAA- 
certified Toro workers who took training. 

Figure 6: One-Third or Fewer of Workers at Most Sites Enrolled in 
Training: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

Of the workers at the sites we studied who entered training programs, 
most entered programs that were relatively short-term and that cost 
less than $10,000. At four sites, half or more of the workers who 
enrolled in training were enrolled in programs expected to last 1 year 
or less, according to administrative data (see fig. 7).[Footnote 15] At 
three of these sites, about 30 percent or more of the workers in 
training entered programs expected to last 6 months or less. In the 
sites we studied, shorter-term training included, for example, a 2- 
month certification program in truck driving or a 1-month nursing 
assistant program. Longer-term training included 2-year associates 
degree programs at community colleges in fields such as elementary 
education or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning maintenance and 
repair. At each site, at least 60 percent of the workers who enrolled 
in training entered programs with an expected cost of less than 
$10,000. (For a detailed breakdown of training costs, see app. II.) 

Figure 7: Workers in TAA-or WIA-Funded Training by Expected Length of 
Training Program: 

[See PDF for image] 

Notes: Data on training duration were available for 105 General Mills 
workers, 91 Lear workers, 25 Weyerhaeuser workers, 7 Toro workers, and 
139 Sanmina-SCI workers. Because of rounding, totals do not always 
equal 100 percent. 

[End of figure] 

While about half the workers at three of five sites received income 
support for over 6 months, one-third or fewer at each site received 
benefits for over 1 year--generally only available to trade-affected 
workers in training who have already exhausted their UI benefits. At 
least two-thirds of the workers at each site had received income 
support benefits at the time of our survey, and at three sites about 
half the workers had received these benefits for over 6 months (see 
fig. 8). However, only about a third or less of the workers at each 
site had received the benefits for over 1 year, and no more than 8 
percent of the workers at any site had received benefits for longer 
than 18 months. Because most workers in the sites we studied did not 
enroll in training, and those who did most commonly entered programs 
lasting 1 year or less, the vast majority of the workers in these sites 
did not utilize the full 2 years of extended income support benefits 
available to them.[Footnote 16] 

Figure 8: Number of Months Workers Received Income Support Benefits (UI 
and in Some Cases Extended Income Support): 

[See PDF for image] 

Notes: Data include workers still receiving UI or extended income 
support benefits at the time of our survey. For example, the Sanmina- 
SCI plant closure occurred about 8 months before our survey, and 49 
percent of Sanmina-SCI workers were still receiving income support 
benefits at the time of our survey. Because of rounding, totals do not 
always equal 100 percent. 

[End of figure] 

The majority of workers at each site who enrolled in training received 
vocational training. A few industry categories were consistently 
popular across sites (see table 2, which provides information on 
training funded by TAA and WIA). Training in health care occupations 
was among the more popular choices at most sites, including training 
for jobs in direct care (e.g., nursing assistant) and in administration 
(e.g., medical coding and billing). Training in office and computer 
skills, ranging from basic computer skills to more advanced network 
support and accounting skills, was also among the most popular in most 
sites. Construction and trades, including occupations such as 
electrician and plumber, were among the popular fields in two sites-- 
General Mills and Lear; and transportation, including truck driving, 
was the leading field at Lear. Fewer workers at each site entered 
remedial training, which includes courses in literacy, English as a 
second language, and General Equivalency Diploma (GED) preparation. The 
proportion of workers entering remedial training funded by any source 
was highest at Sanmina-SCI in Massachusetts, where according to 
administrative data 50 percent of the workers who entered training took 
remedial training. One-stop center officials in Massachusetts told us a 
number of training providers in the area offered programs that combined 
GED preparation or English as a second language instruction with 
training in vocational skills. 

Table 2: Workers in TAA-and WIA-Funded Training by Program Type: 

Program type: Construction and trades; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 15%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 28%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 4%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 5%. 

Program type: Health care; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 27%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 20%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 12%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 14%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 10%. 

Program type: Manufacturing; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 0%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 0%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 0%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 3%. 

Program type: Office and computer skills; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 36%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 15%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 4%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 29%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 21%. 

Program type: Remedial[A]; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 0%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 0%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 0%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 13%. 

Program type: Remedial in conjunction with occupational skills[A]; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 0%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 0%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 0%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 37%. 

Program type: Social services and education; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 1%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 0%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 4%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 57%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 1%. 

Program type: Transportation; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 11%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 30%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 4%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 3%. 

Program type: On-the-job training; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 0%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 2%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 8%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 0%. 

Program type: Other; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 10%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 4%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 0%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina- SCI (Mass.) 7%. 

Program type: Unknown; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 0%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 1%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 64%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 0%. 

Source: State administrative data. 

Notes: Administrative data on training programs were available for 92 
General Mills workers, 94 Lear workers, 141 Sanmina-SCI workers, 7 Toro 
workers, and 25 Weyerhaeuser workers. Vocational training was most 
commonly supported by TAA training funds, although WIA was also 
sometimes used to pay for workers' training at the General Mills, Lear, 
and Weyerhaeuser sites. 

[A] Sanmina-SCI was the only site where remedial training was funded by 
TAA or WIA; remedial training was provided at other sites through, for 
example, Adult Basic Education funds. 

[End of table] 

Most workers in sites in large metropolitan areas who entered training 
attended proprietary schools, while workers in the other sites most 
commonly attended public institutions such as community colleges and 
vocational/technical schools. Seventy-five percent of the General Mills 
workers and 71 percent of the Sanmina-SCI workers who entered training 
attended proprietary schools. All of the Toro workers in Mississippi 
who entered training attended a community college, as well as 63 
percent of the Weyerhaeuser workers in Washington who entered training 
and for whom data are available. Public vocational/technical schools 
that serve high school students as well as adults were the leading 
providers for Lear workers in Pennsylvania, serving 48 percent of Lear 
workers who entered training. (For a detailed breakdown of the training 
providers used by workers at each site, see app. II.) 

Age, Gender among Factors Affecting Training Enrollment: 

A variety of factors were associated with workers' decisions about 
whether to enroll in training and what type of training to enter, 
according to our survey analysis and according to officials and workers 
we spoke with. Some of these factors were related to attributes of the 
individual workers, such as their age or gender, while others affected 
all workers at a particular site, such as the availability of training 
programs in the local area. 

Workers' Characteristics: 

Older workers were less likely than younger workers to enter training. 
Workers over age 55 at our five sites were significantly less likely 
than younger workers to enter training, even after taking into account 
other characteristics such as workers' gender and educational level, 
our survey data indicate. [Footnote 17] Workers or one-stop center 
staff in four of the sites we studied said age was a factor in workers' 
training decisions. For example, one-stop center staff in Mississippi 
told us that older workers often lacked the confidence to go back to 
school after many years away from the classroom. The Weyerhaeuser plant 
closure in Washington affected a higher proportion of workers age 55 
and older (57 percent) than any of the other closures, and according to 
our survey only 5 percent of these older Weyerhaeuser workers entered 
training, compared to 14 percent of Weyerhaeuser workers under age 55. 
One-stop center staff in Washington said a large number of the older 
workers affected by the closure received waivers from the training 
requirement under the TAA program because they were nearing retirement; 
[Footnote 18] 56 percent of Weyerhaeuser workers age 55 and older 
retired, according to our survey. 

Workers' gender affected the type of training program they entered and 
sometimes whether they enrolled in training, according to officials in 
three sites. One-stop center staff or training providers in multiple 
sites said men are more likely to enter training in truck driving, 
while women are more likely to enter training in nursing or other 
medical fields. And officials in Missouri told us that in the St. Louis 
area, a shortage of training programs in traditionally male 
occupations--such as construction and auto body work--discourages some 
men from even seeking training. They said it was expensive to operate 
training programs in some of these fields, and potential providers are 
especially reluctant to invest in expensive technology just for 
training purposes when the technology changes rapidly. 

Workers' skills at the time of their layoffs were a factor that 
sometimes pushed workers into particular types of training and 
sometimes acted as a barrier to training enrollment, according to 
workers, officials, or training providers in the sites we studied. In 
particular, lack of basic skills was often cited as a factor affecting 
training enrollment. For example, the Sanmina-SCI site in Massachusetts 
had the highest proportion of workers without a high school degree or 
GED (14 percent) among the sites we studied, and it had the highest 
proportion of workers enrolled in remedial training. One-stop center 
staff in Massachusetts said many of the workers affected by the Sanmina-
SCI plant closure lacked basic skills and needed GED preparation or 
English as a second language instruction. In Washington, a college 
official said inadequate math and science skills constrained training 
options for some dislocated workers. These workers chose to enter 
programs to become licensed practical nurses or certified nursing 
assistants because they lacked the basic skills necessary to enroll in 
training to become registered nurses. A one-stop center official in 
Pennsylvania told us that workers need a minimum level of basic 
reading, language and math skills to qualify for vocational training, 
and that lack of basic skills may have prevented many Lear workers from 
entering vocational training. 

Timing and Availability of Training Programs: 

The timing of training start dates affects which programs workers 
enter, according to officials or workers in four sites. One-stop center 
or state officials in these sites told us that community college 
training programs typically have only a few starting dates--or only one 
starting date--per year, and that the timing of program start dates is 
not always convenient for laid-off workers. For example, officials in 
Missouri and Washington explained that workers must sometimes wait a 
number of weeks until the start of the next community college semester, 
because of a lag between the worker's layoff and the start of the next 
semester. In these cases, workers might choose to attend a proprietary 
school with an open-enrollment policy rather than a community college, 
to avoid using up several weeks of income support benefits while 
waiting to start training, or they might opt for a shorter-term 
training program to avoid running out of income support before 
completing training. 

Officials in two sites that are not in large metropolitan areas said a 
lack of training programs in the local area limited workers' training 
options. One-stop center officials in Pennsylvania said a shortage of 
affordable training programs in the Lewistown area, in particular the 
lack of a community college, has been a barrier to training enrollment 
for Lear workers. One Lear worker told us he was interested in a 
particular training program at a community college, but he could not 
enroll in the program in part because it would have been about a 50- 
mile commute each way. Similarly, an official in Washington told us 
that there are limited training programs in the Kelso/Longview area, 
and some workers relocated in order to enroll in a program that is not 
offered in the Kelso/Longview area. 

State Training Policies: 

States' maximum allowable TAA training cost per worker sometimes 
affected workers' training decisions. Four of the states we visited-- 
all except Mississippi--have established a maximum limit or cap on TAA 
training costs per worker (see table 3).[Footnote 19] Two of these 
states set different caps for different types of training programs, 
such as a lower cap for remedial training and a higher cap for 
vocational training. The maximum caps range from $12,000 in Washington 
to $23,000 in Massachusetts. Workers or state officials in three sites 
told us these caps sometimes affected workers' training decisions. For 
example, a General Mills worker in Missouri told us that she initially 
wanted to enroll in a medical billing certification program that 
offered instructor-led training and an internship, but this program's 
cost was higher than the state cap. She ultimately enrolled in a less 
expensive, computer-based medical billing program. 

Table 3: Maximum Allowable TAA Training Costs per Worker: 

State (affected company): Missouri (General Mills); 
Maximum allowable TAA training cost per worker: $13,000. 

State (affected company): Pennsylvania (Lear); 
Maximum allowable TAA training cost per worker: $16,000. 

State (affected company): Washington (Weyerhaeuser); 
Maximum allowable TAA training cost per worker: Public school--$10,000, 
Private school--$12,000. 

State (affected company): Mississippi (Toro); 
Maximum allowable TAA training cost per worker: None. 

State (affected company): Massachusetts (Sanmina-SCI); 
Maximum allowable TAA training cost per worker: Remedial program--
$5,000, Vocational certificate program--$15,000, Degree program--
$23,000. 

Source: State officials. 

[End of table] 

Most Workers at Four of the Five Sites Found a Job or Retired after 
Being Laid Off, and Employment Outcomes Varied by Services Received: 

We found that most of the workers who lost their jobs because of 
foreign trade at four of the five sites we studied had either found a 
job or retired at the time of our survey. The majority of reemployed 
workers earned less in their new jobs than they had previously earned, 
but according to our survey estimates generally replaced about 80 
percent or more of their pre-layoff wages. Also, more than half of 
reemployed workers returned to the manufacturing sector, and at most 
sites workers who returned to manufacturing replaced about the same 
proportion of their pre-layoff wages as workers who entered other 
fields. Workers who entered training replaced slightly less of their 
wages than workers who did not in all but one site, and those who were 
trained generally left manufacturing for another industry. The outcomes 
for workers in our study are generally similar to those found in an 
earlier study of laid-off workers in industries significantly impacted 
by trade.[Footnote 20] Outcome measures allow an assessment of whether 
a participant is achieving an intended outcome, but they cannot measure 
whether the outcome is a direct result of program participation. Labor 
has funded a long-term study of the effectiveness of the TAA program, 
scheduled to be completed by 2008. 

Most Workers at Four of Five Sites Were Reemployed or Retired after 
Being Laid Off: 

The majority of workers at four of the five sites had either found a 
job or decided to retire at the time of our survey. At three of the 
sites, 60 percent or more of the workers had found jobs (see fig. 9). 
In the fourth site, Weyerhaeuser in Washington, less than half of the 
workers were reemployed, but almost 60 percent of the Weyerhaeuser 
workers were age 55 or older and over half of these older workers 
retired.[Footnote 21] A number of the reemployed Weyerhaeuser workers 
were simply rehired by Weyerhaeuser: almost one-fourth of the workers 
affected by this plant closure were able to find a new position at 
another part of the company. In the fifth site, Sanmina-SCI in 
Massachusetts, only 37 percent of the workers had found new jobs, but 
this layoff occurred more recently than any of the other layoffs--only 
8 months prior to the survey. In addition, Sanmina-SCI had the highest 
proportion of workers who entered training, and most of these workers 
were expected to still be in training at the time of our survey. Of the 
Toro workers in Mississippi who were not TAA certified, 59 percent were 
reemployed, about the same as the percentage of TAA-certified workers 
at that site who had found new jobs. These findings are similar to 
those of an earlier study of U.S. workers laid off from industries 
significantly affected by trade where 63 percent of the workers had 
found reemployment after their layoffs.[Footnote 22] 

Figure 9: Most Workers at Four of Five Sites Had Found Jobs or Retired 
at the Time of the Survey: 

[See PDF for image] 

Note: Totals do not equal 100 due to rounding. 

[End of figure] 

The workers who had entered training were the least likely to be 
reemployed at each site, but it may be too soon to know the effect of 
training on employment outcomes. Generally one-third or less of workers 
at each site enrolled in training, and among this group, no more than 
half at any site were reemployed. However, some of the workers who had 
enrolled in training were expected to still be in training at the time 
of our survey, according to administrative data.[Footnote 23] In two of 
the five sites, about 60 percent or more of the workers who had entered 
training were expected to still be in training, and in the other three 
sites about a third were expected to still be in training. Among those 
scheduled to complete training by the time of our survey, over 60 
percent were reemployed at all sites but one--similar to the overall 
reemployment rate for most sites. At the fifth site, Sanmina-SCI in 
Massachusetts, only 35 percent of workers who were scheduled to 
complete training were reemployed. 

Workers who did not go to a one-stop center were at least as likely to 
be reemployed as those who visited a one-stop (but did not get 
training).[Footnote 24] In only two sites--Weyerhaeuser and Sanmina- 
SCI--were workers who did not visit a one-stop center more likely to be 
reemployed than those who did. For example, at Weyerhaeuser, 50 percent 
of those who did not visit a one-stop center were reemployed compared 
with 39 percent of those who did visit a one-stop center but did not 
get training. 

About half or more of the workers at four of the five sites took at 
least 7 months to find their current job (see fig. 10).[Footnote 25] At 
the fifth site, Sanmina-SCI, about one-fifth of the reemployed Sanmina- 
SCI workers took at least 7 months to find their current jobs, but the 
Sanmina-SCI plant closure occurred only 8 months before our survey. A 
smaller number of workers found their current jobs more quickly--in 
four sites, about one in five of the reemployed workers found their 
current jobs within 3 months. By comparison, an earlier study of 
workers laid off from industries affected by trade found that a larger 
proportion of workers were reemployed more quickly--half of the workers 
found new jobs within 2 months of being laid off, while 25 percent took 
over 6 months.[Footnote 26] Workers in the five sites in our study who 
did not go to a one-stop center generally were reemployed a bit more 
quickly than those who did. Of the reemployed workers who did not go to 
a one-stop center, half or more found their current jobs within 3 
months of being laid off. Of those reemployed workers who went to a one-
stop center (but did not get training), between 14 and 45 percent found 
their current jobs within 3 months. This difference may be due to time 
dedicated to receiving job search assistance and other services to help 
them get a job. 

Figure 10: Number of Months Workers Took to Find Their Current Jobs: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

The Majority of Workers in Most Sites Earned Less in Their New Jobs, 
Replacing about 80 Percent or More of Their Pre-Layoff Wages: 

The majority of reemployed workers in four sites earned less in their 
new jobs than prior to being laid off, but at the fifth site-- 
Weyerhaeuser in Washington--slightly more than half the reemployed 
workers earned the same or more than their prior wage. Reemployed 
workers at all five sites were able to replace, on average, between 79 
and 94 percent of their pre-layoff wages (see fig. 11). Similarly, an 
earlier study of workers laid off from industries significantly 
affected by international trade found that when these workers were 
reemployed, they replaced, on average, about 87 percent of their prior 
wages.[Footnote 27] Workers and officials told us that several of the 
plants that we studied paid higher wages than other companies in the 
area. Unless workers moved out of the area, they could not easily earn 
comparable wages doing the same type of work. However, some reemployed 
workers at each site--with the proportion ranging from 12 percent of 
reemployed Toro workers in Mississippi to 53 percent of reemployed 
Weyerhaeuser workers in Washington--were able to earn at least as much 
as they had prior to their layoffs. 

Figure 11: Workers Replaced About 80 Percent or More of Wages on 
Average: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

Workers in four of the five sites who did not go to a one-stop center 
had a higher average pre-layoff wage than those who did. For example, 
Weyerhaeuser workers who did not go to a one-stop center had an average 
pre-layoff wage of about $30 an hour, while those who visited a one- 
stop center (but did not get training) had an average pre-layoff wage 
of about $27 an hour. When reemployed, workers who did not visit a one- 
stop center generally replaced at least the same proportion of their 
pre-layoff wages as those who did.[Footnote 28] With the exception of 
Lear, those who received training had the lowest average pre-layoff 
wages. And at two of five sites, these workers had the lowest average 
wage replacement rate when reemployed (see table 4). 

Table 4: Average Pre-layoff Hourly Wage and Wage Replacement Rates: 

Company: General Mills; 
Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average pre-layoff hourly 
wage (in dollars): $15.67; 
Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average wage replacement 
rate when reemployed (percent): 82; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average pre-layoff 
hourly wage (in dollars): $16.49; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average wage 
replacement rate when reemployed (percent): 88; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average pre-layoff hourly wage (in dollars): 
$17.97; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average wage replacement rate when reemployed 
(percent): 95. 

Company: Lear; Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average pre-
layoff hourly wage (in dollars): $16.22; 
Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average wage replacement 
rate when reemployed (percent): 92[A]; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average pre-layoff 
hourly wage (in dollars): $16.13; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average wage 
replacement rate when reemployed (percent): 74; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average pre-layoff hourly wage (in dollars): 
$17.26; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average wage replacement rate when reemployed 
(percent): 94. 

Company: Weyerhaeuser; Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: 
Average pre-layoff hourly wage (in dollars): $25.35; 
Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average wage replacement 
rate when reemployed (percent): 71[A]; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average pre-layoff 
hourly wage (in dollars): $27.10; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average wage 
replacement rate when reemployed (percent): 87; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average pre-layoff hourly wage (in dollars): 
$30.34; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average wage replacement rate when reemployed 
(percent): 93[C]. 

Company: Toro; Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average pre-
layoff hourly wage (in dollars): $13.83; 
Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average wage replacement 
rate when reemployed (percent): [B]; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average pre-layoff 
hourly wage (in dollars): $15.21; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average wage 
replacement rate when reemployed (percent): 81; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average pre-layoff hourly wage (in dollars): 
[B]; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average wage replacement rate when reemployed 
(percent): [B]. 

Company: Sanmina-SCI; Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: 
Average pre-layoff hourly wage (in dollars): $16.79; 
Went to one-stop and enrolled in training: Average wage replacement 
rate when reemployed (percent): 89; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average pre-layoff 
hourly wage (in dollars): $18.46; 
Went to one-stop but did not enroll in training: Average wage 
replacement rate when reemployed (percent): 94; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average pre-layoff hourly wage (in dollars): 
$22.96; 
Did not go to one-stop: Average wage replacement rate when reemployed 
(percent): 96[C]. 

Source: GAO survey of dislocated workers. 

Note: Some of the workers who entered training--ranging from about one- 
third to over 60 percent among the five sites--were expected to still 
be in training at the time of our survey, and it may have been more 
difficult for these workers to have started a new job. 

[A] These estimates have margins of error of plus or minus 15 percent 
or less of the value of the estimates. 

[B] All Toro workers went to a one-stop center. None of the Toro 
workers who went to training have become employed, according to 
administrative data; however, all but one were expected to still be in 
training at the time of our survey. 

[C] Differences between estimates of average wage replacement rates for 
workers who did not visit a one-stop center versus those who did were 
not statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level at 
Weyerhaeuser and Sanmina-SCI. 

[End of table] 

The majority of the workers who had found new jobs at the time of our 
survey said they were receiving some benefits such as health insurance 
benefits or paid time off through their new employer (see fig. 12). 
Over 60 percent of the reemployed workers at each site received health 
insurance benefits in their new jobs.[Footnote 29] In addition, about 
75 percent or more of the reemployed workers at each site received 
vacation time, sick leave, or personal leave at their new place of 
employment. However, some workers told us the benefits in their new 
jobs were less generous than the benefits received from their former 
employer. Generally, fewer reemployed workers received retirement 
benefits in their new jobs as compared to health insurance benefits and 
paid time off. 

Figure 12: Most Workers Received Benefits in New Jobs: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

More than half of the reemployed workers at each site returned to jobs 
in the manufacturing sector (see fig. 13). This was true for workers 
who visited a one-stop center (but did not get training) as well as for 
those who did not visit a center. Similarly, an earlier study of 
workers laid off from manufacturing industries that were significantly 
affected by international trade found that when these workers were 
reemployed, 52 percent of them returned to the manufacturing 
sector.[Footnote 30] When reemployed workers did not return to 
manufacturing, we found they entered fields such as professional and 
business services; trade, transportation, and utilities; construction; 
and education, health care, and social services. A higher proportion of 
workers who took training entered a new field. In three sites, the 
majority of workers who enrolled in training and found new jobs entered 
a field other than manufacturing. 

Figure 13: More Than Half of Reemployed Workers Returned to 
Manufacturing: 

[See PDF for image] 

Note: The estimate for Toro has a margin of error of plus or minus 9 
percent of the value of the estimate. 

[End of figure] 

Reemployed workers who returned to manufacturing generally replaced 
about the same proportion of their pre-layoff wages as those who 
entered other fields. For example, at General Mills, workers who 
returned to manufacturing had an average wage replacement rate of 90 
percent, while those who moved to other fields had an average 
replacement rate of 88 percent. However, at two of the sites-- 
Weyerhaeuser and Sanmina-SCI--those who stayed in manufacturing 
replaced a higher proportion of their pre-layoff wages than those who 
did not. At Weyerhaeuser, where workers' average pre-layoff wages were 
about $27 per hour, reemployed workers who remained in manufacturing 
replaced 93 percent of their prior wages, while those who entered new 
fields replaced 65 percent of their prior wages. At Sanmina-SCI, where 
workers' average pre-layoff wages were lower--about $18 per hour-- 
reemployed workers who remained in manufacturing replaced 96 percent of 
their prior wages, compared to 89 percent for those who entered new 
fields. 

Outcomes Alone Cannot Measure Program Impact: 

While outcome measures are an important component of program management 
in that they assess whether a participant is achieving an intended 
outcome--such as obtaining employment--they cannot, by themselves, 
measure whether the outcome is a direct result of program 
participation. Other influences, such as the condition of the local 
economy or an individual's readiness to search for work or learn new 
skills, may affect his or her ability to find a job as much or more 
than participation in an employment and training program. We examined 
the outcomes for all workers affected by the selected plant closures. 
However, we could not determine whether their outcomes were a direct 
result of the services they received. To determine whether participant 
outcomes are a result of services, rather than of other factors, it is 
necessary to conduct an impact evaluation that can take these and other 
factors into account when comparing workers' outcomes. 

Labor has funded a long-term study to assess the impact of TAA program 
services such as training on participants' employment and earnings. The 
goal of the study is to determine not only the outcomes achieved by TAA 
participants, but also the impact of TAA program services--that is, 
whether participants had better outcomes as a result of the program 
than they would have if they had not received program services. Labor 
last completed an evaluation of the TAA program in 1993, but 
methodological issues resulted in inconclusive findings from that 
study. According to Labor officials, the methodology used by the new 
study is an improvement over the methodology used by the 1993 study, 
and should provide more conclusive findings. The new study will compare 
the outcomes for a treatment group (TAA participants in 25 states) and 
a comparison group (UI claimants in the 25 states who are similar to 
the TAA participants in a number of observable characteristics). It 
will examine, for example, the workers' job search methods, their 
training outcomes, and their employment history before and after being 
laid off. This methodology will likely allow an assessment of the 
impact of the TAA program, rather than just outcomes. Data collection 
began in 2005 and will continue until 2008, and a final report is 
scheduled to be issued by the end of 2008. 

A Small Proportion of Workers in the Five Sites Received Health 
Insurance or Wage Insurance Benefits, but Many Workers Were Unaware of 
These Benefits: 

A small proportion of workers in the five sites received the health 
insurance benefit (HCTC) or the wage insurance benefit (ATAA), but many 
workers told us they were unaware of these benefits. Participation 
rates for the HCTC benefit did not exceed 12 percent at any site, 
according to our survey estimates. In most sites, over half of the 
workers who visited a one-stop center said they were unaware of the 
benefit, despite efforts by state and local officials to inform them 
about the benefit. Of the workers who were aware of the benefit but did 
not use it, about half or more at each site said they did not need it 
because they had other health insurance, or it was too expensive. 
Likewise, few older workers received the ATAA benefit. Awareness of the 
benefit varied greatly by site, ranging from 0 percent of potentially 
eligible Toro workers in Mississippi to 81 percent of potentially 
eligible Lear workers in Pennsylvania. In addition, some workers aware 
of the ATAA benefit chose not to receive it because they did not want 
to forfeit their training benefits or because they did not find a new 
job within 6 months of their layoff. 

Few Workers Received HCTC at Any Site, and Less Than Half Knew about 
HCTC at Most Sites: 

Few workers at the sites we visited received the HCTC benefit, but it 
is difficult to assess the demand for this benefit among non- 
participants because many workers told us they were unaware of the 
benefit. Participation rates for HCTC, a benefit in which eligible 
participants may receive a tax credit covering 65 percent of their 
premiums for certain health insurance plans, did not exceed 12 percent 
at any site (see fig. 14). Men were significantly more likely to 
receive HCTC than women, and Lear workers in Pennsylvania were 
significantly less likely to receive HCTC than workers at any other 
site, when controlling for other characteristics.[Footnote 31] 

Figure 14: Across Sites, HCTC Participation Was Relatively Low: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

Most workers visited a one-stop center at all sites, and at four of the 
five sites, fewer than half of these workers said they were aware of 
the HCTC benefit (see fig. 15). Workers in several sites told us they 
might have applied for HCTC if they had known about the benefit. 

Figure 15: Percentage of Workers Who Visited a One-Stop Center Who Were 
Aware of HCTC: 

[See PDF for image] 

Note: HCTC awareness was only assessed for those workers who went to a 
one-stop center. 

[End of figure] 

While state and local officials told us they took a number of steps to 
inform workers about HCTC, these efforts were not always successful. 
Officials in all sites said they discussed HCTC benefits at rapid 
response sessions or TAA information meetings, and provided written 
literature on HCTC to workers.[Footnote 32] These materials varied by 
site, and they were either distributed at the rapid response meetings 
or mailed to workers at their homes. State officials in Washington 
prepared a bright pink flyer to distribute to workers highlighting the 
HCTC benefit, hoping that the coloring of the flyer would draw workers' 
attention to the material. The flyer also highlighted the state- 
established toll-free telephone number that workers and local one-stop 
center staff could call to get further information about the HCTC 
benefit. In Massachusetts, the state attaches a HCTC brochure to 
letters sent to affected workers notifying them of their potential 
eligibility for TAA. However, some workers told us they were sometimes 
overwhelmed by the prospect of being laid off and by the volume of 
information received at the time of the layoff, and, therefore, could 
not absorb all of the information they received. 

While officials at all sites introduced HCTC at initial information 
meetings and distributed literature on the benefit, we found that the 
information provided to workers during follow-up discussions varied, 
and state officials in the sites saw their roles differently. For 
example, in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, if workers asked detailed 
questions about the benefit, case managers were instructed to have 
workers call the IRS's toll-free HCTC number. A Massachusetts state 
official noted that because of HCTC's complexity, it was too much to 
expect case managers to become experts on the benefit and to be able to 
answer workers' questions. On the other hand, case managers in 
Washington receive quarterly training on HCTC from state officials. 
During these training sessions, case managers are specifically 
instructed to tell clients about HCTC and are expected to answer basic 
questions about the benefit. 

About half or more of the workers at each site who were aware of HCTC 
and chose not to participate said they did not need to use the benefit 
because they had coverage through another source, such as through their 
spouse's health insurance plan. Other reason that workers gave for not 
participating in HCTC were that it was too expensive or too confusing 
(see fig. 16). Some workers who said they had other coverage listed 
multiple reasons why they did not participate in the benefit. After 
excluding those who said they had other coverage, most workers at each 
site, who were aware of HCTC, said that they did not participate 
because it was too expensive. A smaller number of workers at each site 
said they did not participate because the benefit was too 
confusing.[Footnote 33] (See app. III for more detailed survey results 
on reasons workers chose not to participate.) 

Figure 16: Reasons for Not Participating in HCTC, among Workers Who 
Were Aware of HCTC but Chose Not to Participate: 

[See PDF for image] 

Notes: Totals do not equal 100 because workers were given a series of 
reasons and could answer yes to as many as applied to their situation. 
These questions were only asked of workers who came to a one-stop 
center and said they were aware of HCTC. (See fig. 15 for the 
percentage of workers who visited a one-stop center and who were aware 
of HCTC.) The estimates for General Mills, Weyerhaeuser, and Toro have 
margins of error of plus or minus 13 percent of the value of the 
estimates. 

[End of figure] 

About half or more of the workers in each site who were aware of HCTC, 
but did not use it, told us that even with the benefit's 65 percent 
credit, they could not afford the health care insurance 
premiums.[Footnote 34] The monthly cost of available health care plans 
covering one worker in our five sites ranged from $233 per month to 
$488 per month (see table 5).[Footnote 35] Premiums for family plans 
ranged from $651 per month to $1,512 per month. Workers receiving HCTC 
benefits would be responsible for paying 35 percent of these amounts. 
With HCTC benefits, the least expensive individual plan would cost $82 
per month, and the least expensive family plan available would cost 
$228 per month. Workers receiving UI benefits received maximum monthly 
payments of between $840 and just over $2,000 depending on the state 
they lived in. Depending on the type of health insurance plan workers 
received, a large portion of their UI benefits could have been spent on 
health care. For example, the average cost of insurance premiums for a 
family plan in Mississippi was about $1,000 per month, leaving workers 
with an out-of-pocket cost of about $350 per month, roughly 41 percent 
of the maximum monthly UI benefit of about $840 in Mississippi. For 
four states, these costs were for COBRA continuation plans only. 
[Footnote 36] Pennsylvania also had two state-qualified options that 
were available in the county where the Lear layoff occurred, but the 
monthly premiums for these plans were generally no less expensive than 
for COBRA continuation plans.[Footnote 37] 

Table 5: Monthly Costs for HCTC-Eligible Health Insurance Plans 
Available to Dislocated Workers at Each Site: 

General Mills (Mo.); 
Individual plan: $233 to $341; 
Cost of individual plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $82 to 
$119; 
Family plan: $733 to $997; 
Cost of family plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $257 to 
$349; 
Approximate monthly maximum UI benefit available: $1,000. 

Lear (Pa.); 
Individual plan: $235 to 389; 
Cost of individual plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $82 to 
136; 
Family plan: $651 to 1237; 
Cost of family plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $228 to 
433; 
Approximate monthly maximum UI benefit available: $1,912. 

Weyerhaeuser (Wash.); 
Individual plan: $296 to 381; 
Cost of individual plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $104 to 
133; 
Family plan: $834 to 1089; 
Cost of family plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $292 to 
381; 
Approximate monthly maximum UI benefit available: $2,040. 

Toro (Miss.); 
Individual plan: $388; 
Cost of individual plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $136; 
Family plan: $993; 
Cost of family plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $348; 
Approximate monthly maximum UI benefit available: $840. 

Sanmina-SCI (Mass.); 
Individual plan: $331 to 488; 
Cost of individual plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $116 to 
171; 
Family plan: $1,026 to 1,512; 
Cost of family plan after HCTC subsidy (35% of total cost): $359 to 
529; 
Approximate monthly maximum UI benefit available: $2,032. 

Source: Published premiums by health insurers and employer data. 

Note: Range of premiums include COBRA plans and state qualified 
coverage options. 

[End of table] 

In addition, some workers chose not to receive HCTC because they found 
the benefit confusing. For example, one Sanmina-SCI worker from 
Massachusetts commented during the survey that the 10-page pamphlet he 
received from the state on HCTC was too confusing. Similarly, a Lear 
worker in Pennsylvania said he had to take the pamphlets he received to 
the one-stop center for additional explanation. When the one-stop 
officials referred him to a phone number, he decided it was too 
difficult to pursue the benefit. Workers at another site said that they 
did not understand that they could receive HCTC benefits under their 
spouse's health care plan in some circumstances. 

In a prior report,[Footnote 38] we recommended that Labor help 
individuals better understand HCTC, including the eligibility 
requirements, and Labor has begun to take steps to help inform workers 
about the program. For example, Labor held forums for state agency 
staff on integrating dislocated worker services in early 2004, which 
included discussions of the HCTC benefit. In addition, Labor is 
developing fact sheets on HCTC for states to distribute to trade- 
affected workers at rapid response meetings and at one-stop centers. 
Labor has also informally encouraged states to have local case managers 
talk about HCTC with clients. Despite these efforts, many workers were 
still unaware of HCTC at the time of our survey. 

Few Workers Received Wage Insurance Benefits at Any Site: 

Few workers participated in the wage insurance benefit at the four 
sites that were certified for Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance 
(ATAA), a program that subsidizes some of the difference between the 
prior and new wages of older trade-affected workers who find 
reemployment quickly. At the four sites which were ATAA-certified, 
between 21 percent and 72 percent of the population were age 50 or 
older and, therefore, potentially eligible for the wage insurance 
benefit.[Footnote 39] No more than one in five of these potentially 
eligible workers participated in ATAA at any site. For example, at Lear 
in Pennsylvania, where the largest proportion of potentially eligible 
workers received ATAA, about 30 percent were 50 years of age or older 
at the time of the survey, but only about 18 percent of these older 
workers (or about 5 percent of all Lear workers) actually received ATAA 
(see fig. 17). 

Figure 17: Few Workers Participated in ATAA: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

While state or local officials in three ATAA-certified sites told us 
that they discussed the ATAA benefit at rapid response meetings and TAA 
information meetings, workers' awareness of the ATAA benefit varied 
greatly at the sites we visited. Awareness among workers who were 50 
years old and older and visited a one-stop center ranged from zero 
percent of Toro workers in Mississippi to 81 percent of Lear workers in 
Pennsylvania (see fig. 18). State or local officials at three of the 
four ATAA-certified sites told us they discussed the ATAA benefit at 
rapid response meetings or TAA information meetings. However, some 
workers said they were overwhelmed by the volume of information 
received after the layoff, and some told us they did not necessarily 
recall ATAA specifics. Labor officials are taking steps to promote the 
ATAA benefit, such as informally encouraging states to ensure case 
workers talk about ATAA during one-on-one case management sessions. 

Figure 18: Percentage of Older Workers Who Visited a One-Stop Center 
and Were Aware of ATAA: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

Workers gave additional reasons for not participating in the ATAA 
benefit. According to several state and local officials, workers may 
not want to give up the opportunity to enter training for the $10,000 
wage subsidy. Several older workers also reported on our survey that 
they did not receive ATAA, in part, because they did not find a new job 
within 6 months of their layoff. Officials and older workers told us 
that it was difficult for older workers to find new jobs. For example, 
a dislocated Weyerhaeuser worker told us he would have been willing to 
forfeit his training benefits for ATAA had he been able to find a job 
within 6 months of the layoff. However, he said that the high wages 
that he had earned from Weyerhaeuser may have discouraged potential 
employers. 

Conclusions: 

The TAA program targets manufacturing workers affected by international 
trade, who may have fewer transferable skills and face greater 
challenges to reemployment than other dislocated workers. The program 
provides a unique blend of services and benefits that have been 
designed to meet these workers' needs--some of which are not available 
to other dislocated workers. But little has been known about whether 
the services provided are the right mix for today's workers who are 
dislocated due to trade. This study provides a glimpse of the needs of 
a small group of workers, the services they received, and their 
employment outcomes about 8 to 22 months after their layoffs. 

Workers affected by these layoffs have taken a variety of paths. A 
large majority sought some assistance from their one-stop center. 
Relatively small numbers chose to enroll in training, but those who did 
often used this opportunity to chart a new career path. A few did not 
seek any federally funded reemployment services, and yet were still 
successful in getting a new job. We cannot know all the factors that 
motivated workers to seek particular services or that affected their 
employability, and we cannot assess the role that TAA services played 
in the outcomes workers achieved. It may be that some workers make an 
independent assessment of what they need to help them rejoin the 
workforce and then try to take the necessary steps to make that happen. 

While few workers took advantage of training and long-term income 
support through the TAA program, even fewer made use of two new 
benefits under the TAA program--health insurance assistance and wage 
insurance for older workers. Workers who knew about the benefits 
sometimes told us that the benefit levels were not high enough to get 
them to participate. But relatively large numbers were simply not aware 
of the benefits, and some said they might have applied for the benefits 
had they known about them. Sometimes workers admitted to being 
overwhelmed by the prospect of losing their jobs and by the wealth of 
information they initially received. However, states' efforts to inform 
workers about and explain these benefits have been mixed at best--some 
trained their case managers to answer questions from workers, while 
others did not see that as their role. Despite Labor's efforts to 
encourage states to make this information more widely available, many 
workers still do not know about these benefits and, as a result, cannot 
make use of them. Without better information, these workers may not 
have the opportunity to avail themselves of benefits that could ease 
their transition to reemployment. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

We recommend that the Secretary of Labor provide guidance to states and 
local officials on how to better ensure that workers are aware of two 
new benefits under the TAA program: 

* the Health Coverage Tax Credit and: 

* the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance program. 

This guidance should clarify that workers need additional information 
beyond what is provided at initial informational meetings. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of this report to officials at Labor for their 
review and comment. In its comments, Labor agreed with our findings and 
recommendations, noting a number of steps it has already taken to 
improve access to HCTC and ATAA for eligible workers. Labor also 
acknowledged that more needs to be done, saying that many of the 
difficulties encountered in providing services and administering 
benefits are driven by the complexities of the systems used to 
implement the program. Labor noted additional steps it will be taking 
to help ensure access to services, such as working with the IRS and 
states to identify and resolve HCTC issues as they arise, and 
developing a revised TAA benefits brochure for workers to be 
distributed by states. Labor also provided technical comments which 
were incorporated as appropriate. A copy of Labor's response is in 
appendix X. 

As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce the 
contents of this report earlier, we plan no further distribution of 
this report until 15 days from the date of this report. At that time, 
we will send copies of this report to the Secretary of Labor, relevant 
congressional committees, and others who are interested. Copies will 
also be made available to others upon request. The report is also 
available at no charge on GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov. 

Please contact me on (202) 512-7215 if you or your staff have any 
questions about this report. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of the report. Key contributors to this report are listed in 
appendix XI. 

Signed by: 

Sigurd R. Nilsen: 
Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

We examined (1) the extent to which workers accessed federally funded 
reemployment services and the mix of services received, (2) the 
employment outcomes these workers achieved, and (3) the extent to which 
workers used the new health insurance and wage insurance benefits under 
the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, and the factors 
affecting their participation. To address these issues, we selected 
five plant closures that were determined by the U.S. Department of 
Labor to be related to international trade, visited each layoff site, 
conducted a telephone survey of workers affected by each plant closure, 
held focus groups with affected workers, and collected state 
administrative data on services and benefits received. We also 
interviewed officials from Labor. We conducted our work from November 
2004 to December 2005 in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards. 

Case Study Site Selection: 

To obtain information for this report, we judgmentally selected five 
plant closures based on several criteria. First, we selected five 
states by considering factors such as states' prior TAA training 
allocations and number of TAA participants, the manufacturing products 
that have been affected by mass layoffs in different states, and 
geographic diversity. We then chose plant closures within the five 
states that met several criteria: the plant closures were determined to 
have been related to international trade by the U.S. Department of 
Labor, and therefore all or some of the affected workers were 
potentially eligible for the TAA program; the plants manufactured a 
variety of products; the closures affected between 100 and 500 workers; 
and the closures occurred after the TAA Reform Act of 2002 was enacted. 
We also sought to achieve a mix of sites in rural and metropolitan 
areas. Based on these criteria, we selected plant closures that had 
occurred at General Mills (Mo.), Lear (Pa.), Sanmina-SCI (Mass.), Toro 
(Miss.), and Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) Because we studied only five plant 
closures and because of the method of selection, we cannot conclude 
that our findings are representative of the experiences of trade- 
affected workers nationwide. 

Site Visits and Focus Groups: 

We visited each site to obtain information on the plant closures and to 
learn about the experiences of the affected workers. During the site 
visits, we interviewed state and local officials, training providers, 
and, when available, company and union officials. We also held focus 
group discussions with workers at each site to learn more about 
workers' experiences with employment and training services. Focus group 
participants were recruited by one-stop center case managers, as it was 
not feasible for us to recruit focus group participants at each site. 
Because of this selection method, the focus group participants did not 
include any workers who had not visited a one-stop center. This 
selection method could have introduced bias into the focus group 
results; however, the information we obtained from focus groups was 
used only to provide examples. We conducted 15 focus groups in total, 
with between two and seven workers participating in each focus group. A 
total of 69 workers participated across all sites (see table 6). The 
questions used for the focus groups covered topics such as workers' 
experiences with one-stop center services and training and the 
helpfulness of those services, knowledge about and participation in the 
HCTC and ATAA programs, and employment outcomes. GAO facilitators 
conducted the focus groups, the discussions were tape recorded, and 
transcripts were professionally prepared. 

Table 6: Number of Focus Groups and Participants by Site: 

Company: Number of focus groups; 
General Mills (Mo.): 3; 
Lear (Pa.): 3; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 2; 
Toro (Miss.): 3; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 4. 

Company: Number of participants; 
General Mills (Mo.): 9; 
Lear (Pa.): 11; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 11; 
Toro (Miss.): 14; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 24. 

Source: GAO analysis. 

[End of table] 

Review of State Administrative Data: 

We reviewed state administrative data on workers' demographics and 
services received, and, when available, state wage records on workers' 
employment outcomes. The data we reviewed included workers' age, 
education level, weeks of UI received, training program enrollment, 
cost of training, and reemployment status. Administrative data were not 
available for every worker in each site. We recoded certain elements in 
the raw data so that they would be comparable across sites. For 
example, we recoded workers' training programs into a few standardized 
categories. When recoding the data, we reached a team consensus on the 
recodes and independently checked each recode. We assessed the 
reliability of the data by interviewing state officials who had 
provided the data, performing edit checks of the data, and comparing 
the administrative data to information generated from the telephone 
survey. Based on these methods, we found state data quality processes 
and procedures to be sufficiently reliable for the purposes of our 
report. 

Telephone Survey: 

We conducted a telephone survey of all workers who were laid off from 
the five plants we studied. The survey was designed to obtain 
information on workers' experiences with local one-stop centers, HCTC, 
and ATAA; use of UI benefits; employment outcomes; and demographics. We 
obtained lists of affected workers at each site from state officials. 
Prior to administering the survey, we pre-tested the survey questions 
with workers at each site, and made changes to the questions based on 
these pretests. The data from 15 completed pre-tested interviews were 
incorporated into the final dataset. 

The surveys were administered via phone by a contractor hired by 
GAO.[Footnote 40] The survey was conducted from April 19, 2005, through 
June 24, 2005. The survey administration included the following 
elements: (1) advance letters were mailed to all dislocated workers 
approximately 5 to 7 days prior to the start of data collection to 
provide information on the study and add legitimacy and saliency to the 
survey; (2) all interviews were conducted via Computer Assisted 
Telephone Interviewing (CATI), and a minimum of 10 callbacks were made 
to each worker to maximize contact and response rates; and (3) all 
cases with missing information or incorrect contact information were 
researched via several avenues to find the most accurate information 
for each worker. Survey response rates for each survey ranged from 66 
percent to 86 percent (see table 7). Some of the reasons workers did 
not complete the survey included that their phone numbers were no 
longer in service, they had passed away since their layoff, they had 
limited English skills, or they declined to complete the survey. 

Table 7: Survey Response Rates by Site: 

Company: Number of workers; 
General Mills (Mo.): 436; 
Lear (Pa.): 308; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 205; 
Toro (Miss.): TAA-certified: 40; 
Toro (Miss.): Not TAA-certified: 72; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 472. 

Company: Number of respondents; 
General Mills (Mo.): 285; 
Lear (Pa.): 262; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 160; 
Toro (Miss.): TAA-certified: 34; 
Toro (Miss.): Not TAA-certified: 52; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 348. 

Company: Response rate; 
General Mills (Mo.): 66%; 
Lear (Pa.): 86%; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 81%; 
Toro (Miss.): TAA-certified: 85%; 
Toro (Miss.): Not TAA-certified: 72%; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 75%. 

Source: GAO analysis. 

Note: A small number of out-of-scope workers were subtracted from the 
population for certain sites, for purposes of calculating the survey 
response rates. Workers were considered out-of-scope if they had quit 
or retired prior to the layoff, or were still working at the plant at 
the time of the survey. 

[End of table] 

We investigated the magnitude of potential non-response bias in the 
results of dislocated worker surveys at the five locations, and 
concluded that there was no significant non-response bias at any of the 
five locations. We compared administrative data on worker demographics 
and services received for survey respondents and the overall population 
and found there generally were not significant differences between 
survey respondents and the overall population for each site. Therefore, 
we chose to generalize the survey results to the entire population of 
affected workers at each site. We generated estimates for each site by 
treating the responding workers as simple random samples from each of 
the populations. 

Because we decided to treat the respondents as simple random samples, 
our results are estimates of the populations and thus are subject to 
sampling errors that are associated with samples of this size and type. 
Our confidence in the precision of the results from these samples is 
expressed in 95 percent confidence intervals, which are expected to 
include the actual results in 95 percent of samples of this type. All 
percentage estimates have margins of error of plus or minus 7 percent 
or less unless otherwise noted. All wage related estimates have 
relative margins of error of plus or minus 10 percent or less unless 
otherwise noted. 

The practical difficulties of conducting any survey may introduce other 
errors, commonly referred to as non-sampling errors. These errors can 
occur if survey respondents have difficulty interpreting a particular 
question, lack information necessary to answer a question, are 
uncomfortable with accurately reporting certain sensitive information, 
or do not answer certain questions, among other factors that affect 
data collection and measurement. We took steps in the development of 
the survey, the data collection, and the data analysis to minimize 
these non-sampling errors. 

Regression Analysis of Survey Data: 

As a complement to our interviewing and focus group efforts we also 
applied logistic regression analysis to our survey data to identify 
factors affecting the likelihood that workers received a set of 
services. Specifically, we examined the effects of a series of 
demographic and other variables from our survey on the likelihood of a 
worker (1) coming into a one-stop center, (2) receiving training, and 
(3) receiving HCTC. The demographic and other variables we examined 
included gender, age, education, tenure in previous job, pre-layoff 
wage, and time since layoff. The full results of this analysis are 
presented in app. IV. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Detailed Breakdown of Workers' Training Providers and 
Costs by Site: 

Table 8: Workers in TAA-and WIA-Funded Training by Provider Type: 

Provider type: Community college; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 15%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 15%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 40%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 100%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 14%. 

Provider type: Four-year college or university; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 1%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 0%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 8%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 11%. 

Provider type: Public vocational/technical school; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 4%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 48%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 4%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 1%. 

Provider type: Proprietary school; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 75%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 26%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 4%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 71%. 

Provider type: Non-profit agency; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 0%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 0%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 0%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 1%. 

Provider type: Employer (e.g., on-the-job training); 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 2%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 2%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 8%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 0%. 

Provider type: Other; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 1%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 9%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 0%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina- SCI (Mass.) 2%. 

Provider type: Unknown; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 1%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 1%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 36%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 0%. 

Source: State administrative data. 

Notes: Administrative data on training providers was available for 92 
General Mills workers, 94 Lear workers, 141 Sanmina-SCI workers, 7 Toro 
workers, and 25 Weyerhaeuser workers. Because of rounding, totals do 
not always equal 100 percent. 

[End of table] 

Table 9: Workers in TAA-and WIA-Funded Training by Expected Program 
Cost: 

Expected program cost: $4,999 or less; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 27%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 21%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 8%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 83%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 43%. 

Expected program cost: $5,000-9,999; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 47%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 43%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 68%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 17%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 36%. 

Expected program cost: $10,000-14,999; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 19%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 18%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 16%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 15%. 

Expected program cost: $15,000-19,999; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 5%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 16%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 8%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 7%. 

Expected program cost: $20,000 or more; 
Site: General Mills (Mo.) 3%; 
Site: Lear (Pa.) 2%; 
Site: Weyerhaeuser (Wash.) 0%; 
Site: Toro (Miss.) 0%; 
Site: Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 0%. 

Source: State administrative data. 

Notes: Administrative data on training cost was available for 105 
General Mills workers, 91 Lear workers, 134 Sanmina-SCI workers, 6 Toro 
workers, and 25 Weyerhaeuser workers. Because of rounding, totals do 
not always equal 100 percent. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Detailed Breakdown of Participation in HCTC: 

The following tables provide further detailed analysis of workers' use 
of HCTC and their reasons for not participating in the benefit. Table 
10 provides information on the number of workers who visited a one-stop 
center and were aware of the HCTC benefit and whether they participated 
in HCTC. Table 11 provides information on the reasons given by workers 
for not participating in HCTC. Note that in Table 11 respondents could 
choose more than one of these reasons for not participating. 

Table 10: Workers' participation in HCTC: 

Total number of affected workers; 
General Mills (Mo.): 436; 
Lear (Pa.): 308; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 205; 
Toro (Miss.): 40; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 472. 

Total number of survey respondents; 
General Mills (Mo.): 285; 
Lear (Pa.): 262; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 160; 
Toro (Miss.): 34; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 348. 

Total number of workers who went to a one-stop center and were aware of 
HCTC; 
General Mills (Mo.): 80; 
Lear (Pa.): 136; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 61; 
Toro (Miss.): 14; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 115. 

Number of workers who said they were participating in HCTC; 
General Mills (Mo.): 33; 
Lear (Pa.): 26; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 5; 
Toro (Miss.): 2; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 15. 

Number of workers who said they were considering participating in HCTC 
or expecting to get the benefit; 
General Mills (Mo.): 5; 
Lear (Pa.): 12; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 10; 
Toro (Miss.): 0; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 13. 

Number of workers who said they were not participating in HCTC; 
General Mills (Mo.): 42; 
Lear (Pa.): 98; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 46; 
Toro (Miss.): 12; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 87. 

Source: GAO survey of dislocated workers. 

[End of table] 

Table 11: Key Reasons Workers Gave for Not Participating in HCTC: 

Number of workers who did not participate in HCTC: 
General Mills (Mo.): 42; 
Lear (Pa.): 98; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 46; 
Toro (Miss.): 12; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 87. 

Number of workers who did not participate in HCTC: Workers who said 
they had other health coverage; 
General Mills (Mo.): 29; 
Lear (Pa.): 62; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 36; 
Toro (Miss.): 6; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.) 46. 

Number of workers who did not participate in HCTC: 
Workers who said they did not have other health coverage; 
General Mills (Mo.): 12; 
Lear (Pa.): 30; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 8; 
Toro (Miss.): 6; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 31. 

Number of workers who did not participate in HCTC: Workers who did not 
respond whether or not they had other health coverage; 
General Mills (Mo.): 1; 
Lear (Pa.): 6; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 2; 
Toro (Miss.): 0; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 10. 

Of those workers who said they did not have other health coverage; 
General Mills (Mo.): 

The number of workers who only said they did not participate in HCTC 
because the benefit was too expensive; 
General Mills (Mo.): 7; 
Lear (Pa.): 12; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 5; 
Toro (Miss.): 2; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 13. 

The number of workers who only said they did not participate in HCTC 
because the benefit was too confusing; 
General Mills (Mo.): 2; 
Lear (Pa.): 5; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 0; 
Toro (Miss.): 1; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 1. 

The number of workers who said they did not participate in HCTC because 
the benefit was both too confusing and too expensive; 
General Mills (Mo.): 1; 
Lear (Pa.): 10; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 1; 
Toro (Miss.): 2; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 7. 

The number of workers who gave other reasons for not participating in 
HCTC; 
General Mills (Mo.): 0; 
Lear (Pa.): 1; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 2; 
Toro (Miss.): 1; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 9. 

The number of workers who gave no reason for not participating in HCTC; 
General Mills (Mo.): 2; 
Lear (Pa.): 2; 
Weyerhaeuser (Wash.): 0; 
Toro (Miss.): 0; 
Sanmina-SCI (Mass.): 1. 

Source: GAO survey of dislocated workers. 

Note: For an overview of responses to HCTC-related questions by layoff 
site see GAO-06-44SP. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: Regression Analysis of Survey Data: 

To determine what factors were related to whether workers went to a one-
stop center, received training, or received HCTC benefits, we used 
multivariate logistic regression models to estimate the effects of 
several factors. The advantage of the multivariate approach is that the 
effect of any given factor is estimated after its relationship with 
other factors is taken into account. The factors we considered were 
sex, age, education, tenure, time since the layoff, pre-layoff wage, 
and site, or the plant where the worker had been employed. 

The logistic regression approach requires that we use odds and estimate 
differences in the odds by taking their ratios. Table 12 below provides 
an example of how odds and odds ratios are calculated. The top panel of 
table 12 shows that 88 percent of female workers visited a one-stop 
center, compared to 80 percent of male workers. Alternatively, we can 
calculate the odds on women and men visiting a one-stop center, which 
were 291/38 = 7.7 and 608/150 = 4.0, respectively. These odds imply 
that 7.7 women visited a one-stop center for every woman that did not, 
and that 4.0 men visited a one-stop center for every man that did not. 
Moreover, the ratio of the two odds, 4.0/7.7 = 0.52 can be interpreted 
as meaning that the odds on visiting a center were only half as large 
for men as for women. While this might seem inconsistent with the 
difference between 88 percent and 80 percent, consider that 12 percent 
of the women but 20 percent of the men (nearly twice the percentage) 
did not visit a one-stop center. When the factor being considered has 
more than two categories, we choose any one category arbitrarily as the 
referent category, and calculate the ratios of the odds for all other 
categories relative to that one. For example, in the bottom panel of 
table 12 we see the odds on visiting a one-stop center in each of the 
five sites, and odds ratios which indicate how much different the odds 
were for every site relative to General Mills. These odds ratios 
indicate that at the Sanmina-SCI, Lear, and Weyerhaeuser sites, the 
odds on visiting a one-stop center were greater than in General Mills, 
by factors of 2.3, 2.8, and 2.0, respectively. The odds were highest at 
the Toro site, in fact, but because all workers visited a center in 
that site, the odds, and thus the odds ratio, are undefined. 

Table 12: Numbers and Percentages of Workers Who Visited a One-Stop 
Center, by Sex and Site, and Odds and Odds Ratios Derived from Them: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO survey of dislocated workers. 

[A] Indicates odds and odds ratios that cannot be estimated given that 
there were no TAA-certified Toro workers who did not visit the one-stop 
center. 

[End of table] 

Table 13 shows the effects of the different factors on visiting a one- 
stop center (first column), receiving training (second column), and 
receiving the HCTC benefit (third column) when we use multivariate 
logistic regression models to estimate their effects simultaneously. As 
noted above, the advantage to this approach is that it allows us to 
estimate the effect of each factor after taking account of the fact 
that the different factors are related to each other (i.e., males and 
females in the sample may have different lengths of service or wages, 
workers at different sites may vary by sex, education, etc.) and have 
sometimes intertwined effects on the outcomes of interest. 

Table 13: Odds Ratios Describing the Effects of Various Factors on the 
Likelihoods of Visiting a One-Stop Center, Receiving Training, and 
Receiving HCTC: 

Factor: Female; 
Service: One-Stop Center: N/A; 
Service: Training: N/A; 
Service: HCTC: N/A. 

Factor: Male; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 0.486*; 
Service: Training: 0.737; 
Service: HCTC: 1.947*. 

Factor: Under 40; 
Service: One-Stop Center: N/A; 
Service: Training: N/A; 
Service: HCTC: N/A. 

Factor: 40 - 55; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 1.094; 
Service: Training: 0.702; 
Service: HCTC: 1.159. 

Factor: Over 55; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 0.659; 
Service: Training: 0.455*; 
Service: HCTC: 1.152. 

Factor: < High School; 
Service: One-Stop Center: N/A; 
Service: Training: N/A; 
Service: HCTC: N/A. 

Factor: High School Graduate; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 0.965; 
Service: Training: 0.784; 
Service: HCTC: 0.649. 

Factor: Some College; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 1.407; 
Service: Training: 1.464; 
Service: HCTC: 0.464*. 

Factor: College Graduate; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 0.631; 
Service: Training: 0.925; 
Service: HCTC: 0.551. 

Factor: Unknown Education; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 0.397; 
Service: Training: 1.756; 
Service: HCTC: 0.752. 

Factor: < 10 Years Tenure; 
Service: One-Stop Center: N/A; 
Service: Training: N/A; 
Service: HCTC: N/A. 

Factor: 10 - 19 Years Tenure; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 1.267; 
Service: Training: 0.906; 
Service: HCTC: 0.410*. 

Factor: >19 Years Tenure; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 1.228; 
Service: Training: 1.103; 
Service: HCTC: 0.368*. 

Factor: Time Since Layoff; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 0.989; 
Service: Training: .981; 
Service: HCTC: 1.025*. 

Factor: Pre-layoff Wage; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 0.617*; 
Service: Training: 0.766; 
Service: HCTC: 0.925. 

Factor: Sanmina-SCI; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 3.191*; 
Service: Training: 3.595*; 
Service: HCTC: 2.200*. 

Factor: Toro; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 11.980*; 
Service: Training: N/A; 
Service: HCTC: 2.200*. 

Factor: General Mills; 
Service: One-Stop Center: N/A; 
Service: Training: 2.385*; 
Service: HCTC: 2.200*. 

Factor: Lear; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 3.191*; 
Service: Training: 2.385*; 
Service: HCTC: N/A. 

Factor: Weyerhaeuser; 
Service: One-Stop Center: 11.980*; 
Service: Training: N/A; 
Service: HCTC: 2.200*. 

Source: GAO survey of dislocated workers. 

Notes: Asterisks indicate effect coefficients that are significant at 
the 0.05 level. 

The numbers of cases used in the analyses were 987 (one-stop center), 
842 (training), and 821 (HCTC). 

The model for each outcome in this table is one that imposes 
simplifying constraints on the differences between sites. That is, we 
selected for each outcome a model that included dummy variables for 
sites or groups of sites that were significantly different from others. 
Equal odds ratios across sites imply that the only difference across 
those sites were due to random fluctuations or chance. We used formal 
tests of the difference in the fit of models to determine whether the 
more parsimonious models adequately described the significant 
differences across sites. 

[End of table] 

Sex, pre-layoff wage, and site are the only factors that have 
significant effects on the likelihood of visiting a one-stop center. 
Men were roughly half as likely as women to visit a one-stop center 
(odds ratio of .486). Better paid workers were less likely to visit a 
center as well, with every $10 increase in pre-layoff wage diminishing 
the odds of visiting a center by a factor of 0.617. Net of the other 
factors, workers at the Toro and Weyerhaeuser sites were nearly 12 
times as likely as workers at General Mills to visit a center, and 
workers at the Sanmina-SCI and Lear sites were roughly 3 times as 
likely as workers at General Mills to do so. This implies that (1) 
workers at Toro and Weyerhaeuser were similar with respect to the 
likelihood of visiting a center; (2) workers at Sanmina-SCI and Lear 
were likewise similar; and (3) workers at Toro and Weyerhaeuser were 
11.98/3.19 = 3.8 times as likely to visit a center as workers at 
Sanmina-SCI and Lear. Once these effects, and the differences across 
sites, were taken account of, none of the other factors (i.e., age, 
education, etc.) appeared to have any significant effect. 

The only factors that had significant net effects on the likelihood of 
receiving training were age and site. Workers over age 55 were less 
than half as likely to receive training as workers under age 40. 
Workers at Sanmina-SCI were more than three times as likely to receive 
training, and workers at General Mills and Lear were more than twice as 
likely to receive training, as workers at Toro and Weyerhaeuser. 

Finally, the factors which affected whether workers received the HCTC 
benefit were sex, education, tenure, time since layoff, and site. Men 
were twice as likely as women to receive HCTC, and workers with some 
college were half as likely as workers with less than a high school 
education to receive the HCTC benefit. Workers with 10 or more years of 
service were less than half as likely to receive HCTC as workers with 
less than 10 years, and workers laid off earlier were more likely to 
receive the benefit, because each additional month since the layoff 
increases the odds on receiving it by a factor of 1.025. Net of these 
effects, workers at every plant except Lear were alike, and more than 
twice as likely as the workers at Lear to receive the HCTC benefit. 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: General Mills Plant Closure (Hazelwood, Mo.) 

The General Mills plant located in Hazelwood, Mo. (population 26,000 in 
2004) shut down in 2003. Hazelwood is a city located 18 miles northwest 
of St. Louis and most of the plant's employees lived in the St. Louis 
metropolitan area in St. Louis County (see table 14). The St. Louis 
metropolitan area experienced several large layoffs in 2003 that 
affected almost 1,000 manufacturing workers and left the metropolitan 
area with one of the state's highest unemployment rates in 2003. State 
and local officials say that food manufacturing, once a major employer 
in the St. Louis metropolitan area, is in a state of decline, resulting 
in few dislocated General Mills workers being able to find new jobs 
with the area's existing food manufacturers. 

Table 14: Profile of St. Louis County, Mo. 

Population, 2003 estimate; 1,013,123. 

High school graduates, persons 25 years old and older, 2000; 88%. 

Median household income, 1999; $50,532. 

Unemployment rate 2004 annual average; 5.4%. 

Unemployment rate 2003 annual average; 5.2%. 

Unemployment rate 2002 annual average; 4.7%. 

Major employment sectors, 2000; Education, health, and social services 
(22%) and manufacturing (13%). 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

[End of table] 

General Mills is an international company that produces an array of 
packaged consumer foods such as cereals, refrigerated and frozen dough 
products as well as snacks and yogurt. General Mills employed over 
27,000 workers and operated 36 plants in the United States in 2004. 
General Mills' Hazelwood plant produced frozen dough products such as 
cakes and doughnuts, employed over 400 workers at the time it closed, 
and paid workers an average of $12.45 per hour--comparable to wages 
paid in the St. Louis metropolitan area by other employers. The 
affected workers were predominantly male, 40 years old or older, had 
worked at the plant for at least 10 years, and had at least a high 
school diploma (see table 15). State and union officials told us that 
the workers were not considered highly skilled. Most of the workers 
were unionized through the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and 
Grain Millers International Union. 

Table 15: Characteristics of Workers at General Mills' Hazelwood Plant: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO survey of dislocated workers and Washington state 
administrative data. 

Note: Percentages of some characteristics may not add up to 100 percent 
because of rounding. 

[End of table] 

The General Mills plant completely ceased operations in October 2003 as 
a result of a shift in production to Canada. General Mills gave the 
state of Missouri official notice of its intentions to close its plant 
on December 18, 2002, and began laying off workers in waves beginning 
in January 2003 and ending in October 2003 (see fig. 19). According to 
the employer, only some salaried employees were offered transfers to 
other General Mills plants. Unionized workers were not eligible for 
transfers to other General Mills plants. A group of workers from the 
Hazelwood plant submitted a petition for TAA eligibility with Labor. 
Labor began its investigation in June 2003 and certified the layoff as 
TAA eligible in July 2003. Workers were not eligible for the wage 
insurance program (ATAA), which was not implemented until August 2003. 

Figure 19: Time Line of General Mills Plant Closure, Hazelwood, Mo. 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: Lear Plant Closure (Lewistown, Pa.) 

The Lear plant in Lewistown, Pa. (population of about 8,800 in 2003) 
closed in 2004. Most of the plant's employees lived in Lewistown, the 
largest town in rural Mifflin County in central Pennsylvania (see table 
16). The town is relatively geographically isolated: it is situated in 
a valley, with about a 30-mile drive over mountain roads to the nearest 
city. The Lewistown area experienced four mass layoff events between 
2002 and 2004, including the closure of the Lear plant. The resulting 
loss of about 700 jobs had a significant impact on the local economy, 
according to Pennsylvania state officials. 

Table 16: Profile of Mifflin County, Pa. 

Population, 2003 estimate; 46,335. 

High school graduates, persons 25 years and over, 2000; 77.2%. 

Median household income, 1999; $32,175. 

Unemployment rate, 2004 annual average; 6.8%. 

Unemployment rate, 2003 annual average; 7.6%. 

Unemployment rate, 2002 annual average; 8.8%. 

Major employment sectors, 2000; Manufacturing (30%); education,health 
care, and social services (18%); and retail trade (14%). 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

[End of table] 

Lear manufactures automobile interiors, and had about 300 plants 
nationwide at the time it closed its Lewistown plant. The Lewistown 
plant produced automobile carpets; employed about 300 workers; and paid 
wages of $15 to $17 per hour, some of the highest in the area. The 
workers at the plant were predominantly male and age 40 or older, most 
had worked at the plant for at least 10 years, and the vast majority 
had at least a high school diploma (see table 17). They also had fairly 
specialized job skills, according to local officials. Most of the 
workers were unionized through UNITE (formerly the Union of 
Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees). The union did not play 
an active role in serving the workers when they were laid off, 
according to some workers and officials. 

Table 17: Characteristics of Workers at Lear's Lewistown Plant: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO survey of affected workers and state administrative data. 

Note: Percentages for some characteristics may not add up to 100 
percent because of rounding. 

[End of table] 

The Lear plant in Lewistown was closed on February 15, 2004, primarily 
as a result of a shift of production to another country. Lear 
officially notified the state of Pennsylvania of the Lewistown plant 
closure on October 1, 2003, and most workers were laid off from the 
plant between November 2003 and February 2004 (see fig. 20). Twenty-six 
of the workers laid off from Lear's Lewistown plant were hired at 
Lear's plant in Carlisle, Pa. (approximately 60 miles from Lewistown) 
and then laid off primarily in January 2005 when production was reduced 
at that plant. A group of workers from the Lewistown plant submitted a 
petition for TAA eligibility. Labor began its investigation of the 
petition in October 2003, and certified the affected workers as TAA- 
eligible in November 2003, finding that the plant closure was related 
primarily to a shift of production to Canada. Labor also certified the 
workers as eligible for the wage insurance (ATAA) program. 

Figure 20: Time Line of Lear Plant Closure, Lewistown, Pa. 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VII: Weyerhaeuser Plant Closure (Longview, Wash.) 

The Weyerhaeuser plant located in Longview, Wash. (population 35,943 in 
2003) shut down 2003. Most of the plant's employees lived in or around 
the Longview metro area in Cowlitz County situated along Washington's 
southeastern border with Oregon (see table 18). Longview lies about 50 
miles east of Portland, Oregon, and 100 miles south of Tacoma, Wash. 
Cowlitz County experienced several large layoffs from 2001 to 2003 that 
affected more than 1,600 workers and left the county with the state's 
second highest unemployment rate in 2004. According to state and local 
officials, these layoffs have had a significant impact on the local 
economy, and while a few years ago laid-off workers were quickly 
absorbed by other local employers, laid-off workers are now having 
difficulty finding jobs. 

Table 18: Profile of Cowlitz County, Wash. 

Population, 2003 estimate; 95,146. 

High school graduates, persons 25 years old and older, 2000; 83.2%. 

Median household income, 1999; $39,797. 

Unemployment rate 2004 annual average; 8.5%. 

Unemployment rate 2003 annual average; 10.4%. 

Unemployment rate 2002 annual average; 11.4%. 

Major employment sectors, 2000; Manufacturing (21%) and education, 
health, and social services (20%). 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

[End of table] 

Weyerhaeuser is an international company that manufactures a host of 
wood-related products, ranging from paper and paper packing products to 
finished wood products such as lumber used in home construction. 
Weyerhaeuser's fine paper plant produced paper commonly used for 
copying and printing. Weyerhaeuser employs about 65,000 workers 
internationally of which about 27,000 work in its plants across the 
United States. Weyerhaeuser operated its fine paper plant on its 700- 
acre company campus in Longview. Over 200 workers were employed at the 
fine paper and pulp plant and about 2,000 at Weyerhaeuser's campus 
overall. Weyerhaeuser still operates several other production lines on 
this campus. According to state officials, Weyerhaeuser is considered 
one of the best companies to work for in the Longview area and pays 
some of the area's highest wages. Entry level positions at the fine 
paper plant started at $17 per hour and most affected workers were 
earning an average of $24 per hour. Affected workers were considered 
highly skilled and most had at least a high school diploma (see table 
19). The majority of the workers were male, 55 years of age or older, 
and had worked at the plant for at least 20 years. The workers were 
unionized through the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. 
State and local one-stop center officials told us that they worked 
closely with union representatives to coordinate outreach and services 
for affected workers. 

Table 19: Characteristics of Workers at Weyerhaeuser's Longview Plant: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO survey of dislocated workers and Washington state 
administrative data. 

Note: Percentages of some characteristics may not add up to 100 percent 
because of rounding. 

[End of table] 

The plant ceased operations in mid-2004 as a result of a shift in 
production to Canada. Weyerhaeuser gave the state of Washington 
official notice of its intentions to close its fine paper plant on 
November 26, 2003, and workers were laid off in waves beginning in 
November 2003 and ending in August 2004 (see fig. 21). According to the 
employer, almost 50 workers were reabsorbed at other Weyerhaeuser 
plants operating in Longview or Cosmopolis, Wash. (almost 100 miles 
from Longview). In accordance with union rules affected workers were 
able to bid on positions held by junior Association of Western Pulp and 
Paper Workers members working at Weyerhaeuser. Furthermore, many 
affected workers were also eligible for retirement. The union 
negotiated an early retirement option available to workers who had at 
least 10 years of service to the company and were at least 55 years 
old. The union filed a petition for TAA eligibility with Labor. Labor 
began its investigation of the petition in November 2003 and certified 
the layoff as TAA eligible in January 2004. Workers were also certified 
as eligible for the wage insurance (ATAA) program. 

Figure 21: Time Line of Weyerhaeuser Plant Closure, Longview, Wash. 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VIII: Toro Plant Closure (Oxford, Miss.) 

The Toro plant located in Oxford, Miss. (population of about 12,700 in 
2003) shut down in 2004. Oxford is the largest city in rural Lafayette 
County in northern Mississippi, and most of the plant's employees 
either lived in Lafayette County or surrounding counties (see table 
20). According to local officials, Lafayette County experienced four 
mass layoff events and plant closures between 2002 and 2004, including 
the Toro plant, which contributed to a 40 percent reduction in 
manufacturing jobs in the county. 

Table 20: Profile of Lafayette County, Miss. 

Population, 2003 estimate; 40,188. 

High school graduates, persons 25 years old and older, 2000; 78.5%. 

Median household income, 1999; $28,517. 

Unemployment rate 2004 annual average; 4.8%. 

Unemployment rate 2003 annual average; 4.9%. 

Unemployment rate 2002 annual average; 3.2 %. 

Major employment sectors, 2000; Education, health, and social services 
(33%); manufacturing (12%); and retail trade (11%). 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

[End of table] 

Toro designs, markets, and manufactures landscaping equipment, and 
employed about 5,200 employees worldwide in 2004. Toro's Oxford plant 
produced two-cycle engines for lawnmowers, employed about 110 
employees, and paid workers between $8.50 and $15 per hour depending on 
their job title. Approximately 40 employees were machinists (who 
created the engine parts produced at the Oxford plant) and the 
remaining 70 employees included assemblers (who put the engine parts 
together). Only the machinists were TAA-certified. Most machinists at 
the plant were male, 40 years old or older, had worked at the plant for 
at least 10 years, and had at least a high school diploma (see table 
21). The workers were not unionized. 

Table 21: Characteristics of TAA-Certified Workers at Toro's Oxford 
Plant: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO survey of affected workers and state administrative data. 

Note: Percentages for some characteristics may not add up to 100 
percent because of rounding. 

[End of table] 

The Toro plant in Oxford was closed on July 30, 2004, at least partly 
as a result of a shift of production to China. Toro gave the state of 
Mississippi official notice of its intentions to close the Oxford plant 
on January 30, 2004, and most workers were laid off during April and 
May 2004 (see figure 22). The company submitted a petition for TAA 
eligibility to Labor on behalf of the workers. Labor began its 
investigation of the petition on January 26, 2004, and certified the 40 
machinists as TAA-eligible on February 19, 2004, because the plant 
closure was related to a shift of machining two-cycle engine components 
to China. However, Labor did not certify the assemblers as TAA-eligible 
because it determined Toro was shifting the assembly of two-cycle 
engines to another domestic facility. Labor also certified the 
machinists as eligible for the wage insurance (ATAA) program. 

Figure 22: Time Line of Toro Plant Closure, Oxford, Miss. 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IX: Sanmina-SCI Plant Closure (Wilmington, Mass.) 

The Sanmina-SCI plant located in Wilmington, Mass. (population of about 
22,000 in 2003) closed in 2004. Wilmington is in Middlesex County 
roughly 16 miles northwest of Boston (see table 22). About two-thirds 
of the plant's employees lived in Massachusetts, and almost a third 
lived in New Hampshire. Economic conditions during 2004 and 2005 have 
been varied among the communities where Sanmina-SCI workers lived. Some 
of these workers lived in communities that have experienced a number of 
trade-related layoffs in recent years, and have had relatively high 
unemployment. But other Sanmina-SCI employees lived in communities that 
had lower unemployment rates and, according to local officials, 
experienced strong job growth. 

Table 22: Profile of Middlesex County, Mass. 

Population, 2003 estimate; 1,466,561. 

High school graduates, persons 25 years and over, 2000; 88.5%. 

Median household income, 1999; $60,821. 

Unemployment rate, 2004 annual average; 4.4%. 

Unemployment rate, 2003 annual average; 5.3%. 

Unemployment rate, 2002 annual average; 5.0%. 

Major employment sectors, 2000; Educational, health and social services 
(24%); professional, scientific, management, administrative and waste 
management services (16%); and manufacturing (12%). 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

[End of table] 

Sanmina-SCI is an electronics manufacturing company with operations in 
over 20 countries. The Wilmington plant produced printed circuit boards 
and employed almost 500 workers at the time it was closed. The workers 
at the plant were predominantly male, age 40 or older, and over half 
had worked at the plant for at least 10 years. At least three-quarters 
had a high school diploma or GED (see table 21). The workers were not 
unionized. 

Table 23: Characteristics of Workers at Sanmina-SCI's Wilmington Plant: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO survey of affected workers and state administrative data. 

Note: Percentages for some characteristics may not add up to 100 
percent because of rounding. 

[End of table] 

The Sanmina-SCI plant in Wilmington was closed in September 2004, at 
least partly as a result of a shift of production to another country. 
Sanmina-SCI officially notified the state of Massachusetts of the 
Wilmington plant closure on July 20, 2004, and most workers were laid 
off from the plant between August and October 2004 (see fig. 23). The 
company submitted a petition for TAA eligibility to Labor. Labor began 
its investigation of the petition in July 2004 and certified the 
affected workers as TAA-eligible in August 2004 because the plant 
closure was related to a shift of production to Malaysia. Labor also 
certified the workers as eligible for the wage insurance (ATAA) 
program. 

Figure 23: Time Line of Sanmina-SCI Plant Closure, Wilmington, Mass. 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix X: Comments from the Department of Labor: 

U.S. Department of Labor: 
Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training: 
Washington, D.C. 20210: 

JAN 19 2006: 

Mr. Sigurd R. Nilsen: 
Director:
Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office:
441 G Street, NW: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Dear Mr. Nilsen: 

Enclosed is the Department of Labor's response to the GAO Draft Report 
No. 06-43 entitled, "Trade Adjustment Assistance - Most Workers in Five 
Layoffs Received Services, but Better Outreach Needed on New Benefits." 
We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the draft. 

First and foremost, this report is another example of the problems 
created by having a workforce investment system that is duplicative in 
its service delivery design with various levels of government 
responsible for certain types of services to workers. Because 
unemployment compensation, employment services and Trade Adjustment 
Assistance (TAA) services are delivered by state staff, with Workforce 
Investment Act dislocated worker services and One-Stop Career Center 
operations being performed by local staff, workers are too often given 
conflicting information on what benefits are available to them, and as 
your study points out, too often they receive no information at all as 
they are being served in One-Stop Career Centers. While we acknowledge 
the complexities inherent in both the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) 
and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) programs, 
fundamentally, problems in workers' ability to access services too 
often lie with the structural design flaws of the workforce investment 
system-flaws that the current Administration has proposed to fix 
through legislative reform. 

With this said, we understand that a lot of work still needs to be 
done, building on efforts we have already undertaken. Since 
implementation of the HCTC and ATAA programs, we have done the 
following to assure access to these services by eligible workers: 

* Initiated and continue to hold monthly or bi-monthly conference calls 
with states and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify and 
resolve HCTC issues as they arise. 

* Issued formal guidance to the workforce investment system regarding 
HCTC prior to and subsequent to its implementation. 

* Held information sessions on HCTC and ATAA with state staff in 
regional settings as well as at our annual Workforce Innovations 
conferences subsequent to the passage of the Trade Reform Act of 2002. 

* Hosted a special HCTC Summit in December 2004 at the Washington Court 
Hotel to follow up on HCTC-related issues for certain HCTC states. 

* Issued ATAA Questions and Answers (Training and Employment Guidance 
Letter (TEGL) 2-03, Change 1) to clarify the roles and responsibilities 
of the states that are administering the ATAA program. 

* Conducted a workshop at the national Workforce Innovations Conference 
in July 2004, to highlight best practices and discuss state successes 
and failures in implementing the ATAA program. 

* Instructed staff, as part of the petition investigation process, to 
ensure that petitioners understood the implications of the answer when 
the "no" indicator was checked on the petition form, and allowed 
petitions to be resubmitted at the time of this clarification. 

* Retroactively contacted petitioners who filed petitions on obsolete 
forms that did not contain the ATAA question and allowed them to 
indicate an interest in the ATAA program prospectively. Contacts were 
made by certified letter. 

* Retroactively contacted petitioners who did not indicate either "yes" 
or "no" and may not have been contacted by staff to indicate an 
interest in the ATAA program prospectively. Contacts were made by 
certified letter. 

* Provided Regional Office assistance to Pennsylvania to help ensure 
that state staff understood the ATAA program and made TAA certified 
workers aware of this benefit. 

* Provided Regional Office assistance to the state of Virginia on the 
ATAA program. 

* Revised the petition form to include both the TAA and ATAA programs 
to remove any chance of mistake in the filing process by the 
petitioner. Investigations to determine Certification or Denial will 
now be routinely made for both programs in all instances. 

* Revised the departmental brochure "Getting Back to Work After a 
Trade- Related Layoff' to ensure information about the ATAA program is 
prominently available to trade-affected workers. This brochure is for 
state distribution when initial contact is made with workers who may be 
trade-affected. 

* Developed an ATAA "fact sheet" to discuss in detail what is involved 
in the ATAA program for individuals who might be interested and qualify 
for this benefit. This brochure is for state distribution when workers 
who may be trade-affected indicate an interest in this program. 

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has a work plan for 
2006 that contains future activities to assure that (1) workers know 
what services are available; (2) workers have access to the services 
for which they are eligible; and (3) eligibility determination is done 
consistently throughout the states. Specifically, the work plan 
contains the following broad actions: 

* ETA officials will meet with IRS and the Pension Benefits Guaranty 
Corporation (PBGC) staff to resolve outstanding issues, including 
enhancing outreach, providing assistance to states without qualified 
plans, further evaluating cost to participants, streamlining processes 
and examining confidentiality issues. 

* Dislocated Worker Forums were conducted across the country in 2003-
2004 and included presentations by ETA and the IRS on HCTC, along with 
a policy panel to respond to questions from the state agencies. Follow-
up forums will include local officials and front-line workers, as well 
as One-Stop Career Center managers, to improve knowledge and document 
best practices concerning HCTC and ATAA. 

* A Dislocated Worker Rapid Response Summit will be conducted this 
spring that will provide an opportunity to improve outreach for HCTC 
and ATAA among states who work with trade-impacted workers prior to 
layoff. 

* Enhanced technical assistance will be provided to states that have 
the highest incidence of trade-related layoffs. 

* Additional outreach materials will be produced and updated guidance 
will be disseminated. 

Although there is work to be done, we also recognize that the 
Department of Labor (DOL) is one of the entities involved in the 
overall HCTC initiative. Secretary Snow recently reported to Congress 
that the use of the HCTC increased 40 percent in 2004. Approximately 
28,000 individuals used HCTC (advanced payment and end-of-year claims) 
in 2004, compared to approximately 20,000 in 2003. Sixty-three percent 
of those receiving benefits were TAA or ATAA-related individuals. In 
Fiscal Year 2005, the Advance HCTC Program received more than $38 
million from participants (representing the participants' share of the 
premium) and paid more than $106 million in health premiums. The IRS 
reported that it has paid $24.6 million on 14,613 returns for Tax Year 
2004. 

Additional information is included in the enclosed response regarding 
the GAO recommendation for action as well as comments on information 
presented in the draft. If you would like additional information, 
please don't hesitate to call me at (202) 693-2700. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Emily Stover DeRocco: 

Enclosure: 

ENCLOSURE: 

Recommendation: The GAO draft report recommended that the Secretary of 
Labor provide guidance to states and local officials on how to better 
ensure that workers are aware of two new benefits under the Trade 
Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program- 

* The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), and: 

* The Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) program. 

The guidance should clarify that the workers need additional 
information beyond what is provided at initial informational meetings. 

DOL response: 

Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC): 

* ETA recognizes that more needs to be done to ensure that workers 
being laid off have access to information regarding HCTC benefits and 
that inconsistency is a result of the design of the current workforce 
investment system, as discussed in the cover letter. The Workforce 
Investment Act (WIA) dislocated worker integration initiatives, which 
were rolled out during the nationwide forums beginning in December 
2003, were the direct result of this recognition. The WIA legislative 
reform proposals being considered by Congress will also integrate the 
workforce system to the benefit of the worker. 

* Since enactment of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 
2002, the Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training 
Administration (ETA) has issued several guidance letters to the 
workforce investment system on the HCTC benefits, generally, and on the 
NEG bridge/gap filler program, specifically. Currently, ETA is 
reviewing its program outreach activities to enhance the HCTC and ATAA 
information already provided. This review was precipitated by feedback 
from the workforce investment system as well as information from the 
GAO and other reviews. We agree that information should be available to 
the workers to make timely and informed decisions within the timeframes 
required by various programs. Benefits information must be available 
both through rapid response assistance, which is available to all 
workers as soon as they know they are being laid off, and through 
follow-up personal and individualized assistance from counselors at One-
Stop Career Centers. 

* Monthly or bi-monthly conference calls are held that include state 
and federal staff (including DOL, Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation 
(PBGC) and the Internal Revenue Services (IRS)) to identify and resolve 
issues as they arise. 

* Information sessions were held with state staff in regional settings 
as well as at ETA's national annual Workforce Innovations conferences 
regarding HCTC and ATAA since the passage of the Trade Reform Act of 
2002. 

* A follow-up HCTC guidance letter is currently in clearance and will 
address many of the issues raised in your draft report. 

* A revised TAA benefits brochure is in clearance and scheduled for 
printing. This informational brochure will be distributed through One- 
Stop Career Centers, rapid response informational meetings, one-on-one 
counseling or assessment sessions with case managers and, in some 
instances, direct mailings. 

* ETA will meet with IRS and PBGC staff in late January to augment 
efforts and develop strategies and business solutions to further refine 
and articulate the messages necessary to reach more workers, since each 
agency plays a key role in outreach: PBGC and DOL to inform their 
potentially eligible clients of the availability of HCTC and the NEG 
bridge/gap program and referral to the IRS and the IRS for overall HCTC 
responsibility. The issues being reviewed include- 

-  Earlier and better outreach information to potentially eligible TAA- 
affected workers to enable earlier decisions by workers; 

-  Status of states that do not have qualified plans; 

-  Cost to participants exceeds the ability of many to pay; 

-  Enhancement of outreach within the parameters of confidentiality 
constraints; and 

- Procedural improvements to enable TAA-eligible workers to gain access 
to the HCTC benefit when unemployment compensation benefits have not 
been exhausted. 

* DOL continues its efforts to integrate program services for all 
dislocated workers, as discussed earlier. Efforts will continue to 
include presentations and discussions involving the IRS and access to 
the HCTC system. 

Alternative Trade Adiustment Assistance Program (ATAA): 

Since implementation of the ATAA program on August 6, 2003, ETA has 
done the following to assure access to these services by eligible 
workers: 

* Issued ATAA Questions and Answers (Training and Employment Guidance 
Letter (TEGL) 2-03, Change 1) to clarify the roles and responsibilities 
of the states that are administering the ATAA program. 

* Conducted a workshop at the national Workforce Innovations Conference 
in July 2004, to highlight best practices and discuss state successes 
and failures in implementation of the ATAA Program. 

* Instructed staff, as part of the petition investigation process, to 
ensure that petitioners understood the implications of the answer when 
the "no" indicator was checked, and allowed petition re-submittal at 
the time of this clarification. 

* Retroactively contacted petitioners who filed petitions on obsolete 
forms that did not contain the ATAA question and allowed them to 
indicate an interest in the ATAA program prospectively. Contacts were 
made by certified letter. 

* Retroactively contacted petitioners who did not indicate either "yes" 
or "no" and may not have been contacted by staff to indicate an 
interest in the ATAA program prospectively. Contacts were made by 
certified letter. 

* Provided Regional Office assistance to Pennsylvania to help ensure 
that state staff understood the ATAA program and made TAA certified 
workers aware of this benefit. 

* Provided Regional Office assistance to the state of Virginia on the 
ATAA program. 

* Revised the petition form to include both the TAA and ATAA programs 
to remove any chance of mistake in the filing process by the 
petitioner. Investigations to determine Certification or Denial will 
now be routinely made for both programs in all instances. 

* Revised the departmental brochure "Getting Back to Work After a 
Trade- Related Layoff' to ensure information about the ATAA program is 
prominently available to trade-affected workers. This brochure is for 
state distribution when initial contact is made with workers who may be 
trade-affected. 

* Developed an ATAA "fact sheet" to discuss in detail what is involved 
in the ATAA program for individuals who might be interested and qualify 
for this benefit. This brochure is for state distribution when workers 
who may be trade-affected indicate an interest in this program. 

Other Comments: 

In addition to the Department's response related to the GAO's 
recommendation, the following additional comments are included for 
consideration- 

National Emergency Grants (NEG). Two of the sites covered by the GAO 
(General Mills in Missouri and Sanmina-SCI in Massachusetts) requested 
and were awarded nearly $2 million in NEG funds to provide "dual 
enrollment" wrap-around services for TAA-impacted workers employed by 
these two companies. These awards were to provide TAA-certified workers 
with core and intensive as well as supportive services (except income 
support/needs-related payments) needed to re-enter the workforce and 
participate in TAA-funded training, or in some instances, training 
funded by WIA. In each of these cases, the states indicated that WIA 
dislocated worker formula funds were not sufficient to provide such 
assistance. 

* Rapid Response Assistance. The footnote (31) on page 40 correctly 
states that rapid response assistance includes providing information to 
workers affected by a plant closure or mass layoff on available 
benefits and services. This assistance begins as soon as a layoff or 
closure is known and is often among the assistance provided under 
"early intervention" to limit the period of unemployment by accessing 
needed services as quickly as possible. For a worker who is later TAA- 
certified (often a petition filed as a result of rapid response 
assistance), this means that the individual may receive a full array of 
services (e.g., job search assistance and labor market information, 
comprehensive assessments, counseling and case management, and 
supportive services) prior to a TAA certification so that any training 
required for re-employment starts shortly after a certification. 

* WIA Levels of Service. Page 10 refers to sequential levels of 
service, and this can be misleading or be interpreted as a "work first" 
policy. The WIA regulations at 20 CFR 663.115, 663.160, 663.230 and 
663.240 describe the parameters in such a way that the time needed to 
access required core and intensive services can be very short so 
participants can enroll in training in an expeditious manner. 

Self-sufficiency. Page 10 suggests that self-sufficiency is the 
determinant of whether one may receive intensive or training services. 
The WIA regulations at 20 CFR 663.220 and 663.240 clearly state that 
for dislocated workers (e.g., those who have been laid off or have 
received a notice of layoff, or the company has issued a WARN notice or 
other public announcement of a closure within 180 days) after receiving 
at least one core service (such as initial assessment) and one 
intensive service (such as the development of an individual employment 
plan or individual counseling and career planning) it may be determined 
that an individual is in need of training or retraining services in 
order to reenter the workforce. Self-sufficiency as described in 20 CFR 
663.230(b) for dislocated workers is limited to those who have re- 
entered the workforce after layoff and seek training assistance and 
would not generally apply to benefits under TAA. 

* Outcomes. Although the draft report acknowledges that some of the 
workers reported as not re-employed may have still been in training at 
the time of the survey, the chart contained in the opening "highlights" 
section does not reflect that fact. Thus, the chart could be 
misleading. Generally, employment outcomes for participants are 
reported for those who have completed or left planned programs of 
service, including co-enrollments of trade-impacted workers in TAA and 
WIA (including NEGs). Once an individual completes training, services 
may include job development and placement activities. 

For example, this may have particular significance between General 
Mills and Sanmina-SCI given that the former layoff was mostly completed 
by mid-2003 and the latter occurred a year later, although the workers 
would have been eligible for WIA services as soon as the WARN Act 
Notices were issued in December 2002 and July 2004, respectively. 
Although more workers appeared to have been enrolled in training from 
the Sanmina-SCI layoff than from General Mills, it appears that 
approximately the same number of workers were in training lasting over 
one year, albeit given the layoff dates and the eligibility 
requirements for TAA, without further data, the Sanmina-SCI workers 
still in training at the time of the survey would appear to have had a 
larger impact on employment outcomes. 

We agree with the conclusion on page 28 that it is difficult to discern 
whether the outcome is a direct result of program participation. This 
is a broader issue in the 21 st Century for dislocated workers who may 
have extensive experience that may help them acquire new jobs, but also 
require upgrading or updating obsolete skills or slightly different 
skill sets to re-enter the workforce and retaining close to their 
earning power. 

WIA Secretary's Reserve Funds. For the sake of completeness, in 
addition to the uses of WIA Dislocated Worker reserve funds described 
in the draft report, the 20 percent reserved funds are also used to 
provide annual allotments to the outlying areas of the U.S. Virgin 
Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands, and the Republic of Palau. 

[End of section] 

Appendix XI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Sigurd R. Nilsen, Director (202) 512-7215: 

Acknowledgments: 

Dianne Blank, Assistant Director: 

Lorin Obler, Analyst-in-Charge: 

In addition, the following staff made major contributions to this 
report: Irene J. Barnett and Amanda Mackison served as team members; 
James Ashley, David Dornisch, Beverly Ross, Douglas Sloane, and Shana 
Wallace provided guidance and assistance with design and methodology 
issues; Jonathan McMurray advised on report preparation; Jessica 
Botsford advised on legal issues; Avrum Ashery and Karen Burke provided 
graphic design assistance; and Ramona Burton, Anne Cangi, Maureen 
Driscoll, Anna Kelley, Christopher Murray, Carol Patey, Michelle St. 
Pierre, and Wayne Sylvia verified our findings. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

Workforce Investment Act: Labor and States Have Taken Actions to 
Improve Data Quality, but Additional Steps Are Needed. GAO-06-82. 
Washington, D.C.: November 14, 2005. 

Workforce Investment Act: Substantial Funds Are Used for Training, but 
Little Is Known Nationally about Training Outcomes. GAO-05-650. 
Washington, D.C.: June 29, 2005. 

Unemployment Insurance: Better Data Needed to Assess Reemployment 
Services to Claimants. GAO-05-413. Washington, D.C.: June 24, 2005. 

Workforce Investment Act: Employers Are Aware of, Using, and Satisfied 
with One-Stop Services, but More Data Could Help Labor Better Address 
Employers' Needs. GAO-05-259. Washington, D.C.: February 18, 2005. 

Health Coverage Tax Credit: Simplified and More Timely Enrollment 
Process Could Increase Participation. GAO-04-1029. Washington, D.C.: 
September 30, 2004. 

Trade Adjustment Assistance: Reforms Have Accelerated Training 
Enrollment, but Implementation Challenges Remain. GAO-04-1012. 
Washington, D.C.: September 22, 2004. 

Workforce Investment Act: States and Local Areas Have Developed 
Strategies to Assess Performance, but Labor Could Do More to Help. GAO- 
04-657. Washington, D.C.: June 1, 2004. 

National Emergency Grants: Labor Is Instituting Changes to Improve 
Award Process, but Further Actions Are Required to Expedite Grant 
Awards and Improve Data. GAO-04-496. Washington, D.C.: April 16, 2004. 

Workforce Investment Act: One-Stop Centers Implemented Strategies to 
Strengthen Services and Partnerships, but More Research and Information 
Sharing Is Needed. GAO-03-725. Washington, D.C.: June 18, 2003. 

Older Workers: Employment Assistance Focuses on Subsidized Jobs and Job 
Search, but Revised Performance Measures Could Improve Access to Other 
Services. GAO-03-350. Washington, D.C.: January 24, 2003. 

Workforce Investment Act: Better Guidance and Revised Funding Formula 
Would Enhance Dislocated Worker Program. GAO-02-274. Washington, D.C.: 
February 11, 2002. 

Workforce Investment Act: Improvements Needed in Performance Measures 
to Provide a More Accurate Picture of WIA's Effectiveness. GAO-02-275. 
Washington, D.C.: February 1, 2002. 

Trade Adjustment Assistance: Experiences of Six Trade-Impacted 
Communities. GAO-01-838. Washington, D.C.: August 24, 2001. 

Trade Adjustment Assistance: Trends, Outcomes, and Management Issues in 
Dislocated Worker Programs. GAO-01-59. Washington, D.C.: October 13, 
2000. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] See Lori Kletzer, Job Loss from Imports: Measuring the Costs 
(Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 2001). 

[2] For the remainder of this report, we refer to these companies as 
General Mills, Lear, Sanmina-SCI, Toro, and Weyerhaeuser. 

[3] All workers covered by a certified TAA petition are potentially 
eligible for TAA benefits and services. However, certified workers must 
apply individually for specific benefits and services. 

[4] In our analysis and reporting, we focused on the workers in the 
Toro site who were covered by the TAA petition, but when relevant we 
included data on the other workers for comparison. 

[5] For more information on TAA benefits such as HCTC see GAO, Trade 
Adjustment Assistance: Reforms Have Accelerated Training Enrollment, 
but Implementation Challenges Remain, GAO-04-1012 (Washington, D.C.: 
Sept. 22, 2004); and GAO, Health Coverage Tax Credit: Simplified and 
More Timely Enrollment Process Could Increase Participation, GAO-04-
1029 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 30, 2004). 

[6] Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985, 
Pub. L. No. 99-272, Apr. 7, 1986. 

[7] These national reserve funds are also used to provide annual 
allotments to the outlying areas of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 
American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and the 
Republic of Palau. 

[8] Pub. L. No. 100-379, Aug. 4, 1988; 28 U.S.C. § 2101. 

[9] Using data from our worker survey, we performed a multivariate 
regression analysis to estimate the effects of age, gender, education 
level, job tenure, time since layoff, pre-layoff wage, and layoff site 
on the likelihood of visiting a one-stop center. The complete results 
of this analysis are presented in app. III. 

[10] According to our earlier study, states have increasingly relied 
upon WIA funds to provide services such as case management to TAA 
participants. See GAO-04-1012. 

[11] The states participating in Labor's co-enrollment project are 
Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and 
Texas. 

[12] According to state and local officials, rapid response sessions 
for workers affected by the Weyerhaeuser layoff in Washington, the 
General Mills layoff in Missouri, and the Lear layoff in Pennsylvania 
were not held on company time. 

[13] All the TAA-eligible workers affected by the Toro layoff visited a 
one-stop center. 

[14] Using data from our worker survey, we performed a multivariate 
regression analysis to estimate the effects of age, gender, education 
level, job tenure, time since layoff, pre-layoff wage, and layoff site 
on the likelihood of entering training. The complete results of this 
analysis are presented in app. IV. 

[15] We used state administrative data to examine certain details of 
workers' training programs that were not available through our survey 
data. However, there was not an exact correspondence between states' 
administrative records and our survey results regarding which workers 
entered training. The level of agreement between administrative and 
survey data on whether workers had entered training ranged from 82 to 
95 percent at the five sites. Also, at some sites, administrative data 
were not available for all aspects of each worker's training program. 
For example, a state may have been able to provide administrative data 
on the type of training program a worker entered, but not on the 
expected duration of that worker's program. 

[16] TAA-certified workers may receive up to 104 weeks of extended 
income support benefits beyond the 26 weeks of UI available in most 
states. This total includes 78 weeks while workers are enrolled in 
vocational training, and an additional 26 weeks if they are enrolled in 
remedial training. 

[17] This finding is based on the regression analysis of our survey 
results. 

[18] Under the TAA statute, one reason that workers may receive a 
waiver from the training requirement is that they are within 2 years of 
retirement. 

[19] In some states, training programs with costs exceeding the 
official state cap are approved in special circumstances. 

[20] See Kletzer. This study ranked manufacturing industries according 
to the increase in the import share of each industry from 1979 to 1994. 
Those industries in the top 25 percent in terms of increase in import 
share are defined as high import-competing industries, or what we call 
industries significantly affected by international trade. The study 
used data from the Displaced Worker Surveys conducted by the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics from 1984 to 2000. The Displaced Worker Survey is 
administered as part of the Current Population Survey, a nationally 
representative monthly survey of about 60,000 households. 

[21] At the time of the lay-off, Weyerhaeuser workers with at least 10 
years of service to the company and who were at least 55 years old were 
eligible for early retirement. However, workers only received full 
retirement benefits if they were at least 59 years old. Retirement was 
involuntary in that these workers' positions were being eliminated. 

[22] See Kletzer. 

[23] TAA participants in training must be in full-time training, which 
may make it more difficult for them to work while completing training. 

[24] We could compare outcomes for four sites only. At Toro, all laid- 
off workers visited the one-stop center. 

[25] Our survey asked workers about their jobs at the time of the 
survey. We did not ask about their work history since being laid off. 

[26] See Kletzer. 

[27] See Kletzer. 

[28] At the fifth site, Toro in Mississippi, all workers went to a one- 
stop center. Therefore, we could not compare the employment outcomes 
for those who visited a center to the outcomes for those who did not. 

[29] Prior to the layoffs, employers at all five sites provided health 
insurance benefits to their employees. 

[30] See Kletzer. 

[31] Using data from our worker survey, we performed a multivariate 
regression analysis to estimate the effects of age, gender, education 
level, job tenure, time since layoff, pre-layoff wage, and layoff site 
on the likelihood of participating in the HCTC program. In addition to 
gender and site being statistically significant, we also found that 
workers with less than 10 years of job tenure were significantly more 
likely to receive HCTC than workers with 10 years or more job tenure, 
and that workers with some college were less likely to receive HCTC 
than workers with less than a high school degree. Also, we found 
workers laid off more recently were less likely to receive the benefit. 
The complete results of this analysis are presented in app. IV. 

[32] Generally, employers are required to inform the state dislocated 
worker unit 60 days in advance of an expected plant closure or mass 
layoff. A rapid response team is then mobilized to provide information 
to affected workers on available benefits and services. 

[33] The total number of workers who reported that they had no other 
health care coverage and did not participate in the HCTC benefit in 
each site was small, ranging from 6 Toro workers in Mississippi to 31 
Sanmina-SCI workers in Massachusetts. 

[34] While most of the workers who said they did not receive HCTC 
because of cost told us that it was the ongoing premium payment that 
was too high, a slightly lower percentage said that it was the initial 
months of unsubsidized premiums. Workers choosing the monthly payment 
option for HCTC are usually responsible for paying the entire premium 
until their applications are processed. (See also GAO-04-1029 for 
additional information.) A mechanism exists to provide interim health 
insurance cost assistance until the first payment processes under the 
HCTC program. Labor's Office of Inspector General recently published a 
report finding low participation for this mechanism, and their findings 
on reasons workers did not participate were similar to ours. For 
example, they found that reasons for non-participation included that 
workers could not afford premiums even with this assistance and that 
workers found the program to be too complex. (See "Performance Audit of 
Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Bridge and Gap Programs," DOL-02-05- 
204-03-330.) 

[35] In some cases, plans have different deductibles that workers are 
responsible for paying. 

[36] Under COBRA, workers are eligible to continue their employer 
sponsored health care insurance plan at their own expense, but at the 
group rate the employer paid, if they lose coverage because of reasons 
including loss of employment. Generally, health insurers may charge 
workers purchasing COBRA continuation plans no more than 102 percent of 
the total premium. 

[37] Washington currently has an HCTC-eligible state-qualified option, 
but the option was not available at the time of the Weyerhaeuser 
layoff. 

[38] See GAO-04-1029. 

[39] To determine potential eligibility, we included workers who said 
they were 50 years of age or older at the time of the survey. Not all 
of the workers we identified as potentially eligible could necessarily 
have received ATAA benefits. To receive ATAA benefits, workers must be 
able to obtain reemployment within 6 months in a job that pays less 
than their prior job, and be willing to forgo TAA-funded training. 
These criteria were not included in our calculation of potentially 
eligible workers. 

[40] Due to a technical problem with the survey administration, GAO 
staff separately asked TAA-certified workers in Mississippi the HCTC 
and ATAA questions. 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of 
Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional 
responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability 
of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use 
of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides 
analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make 
informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO's commitment to 
good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, 
integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through the Internet. GAO's Web site ( www.gao.gov ) contains 
abstracts and full-text files of current reports and testimony and an 
expanding archive of older products. The Web site features a search 
engine to help you locate documents using key words and phrases. You 
can print these documents in their entirety, including charts and other 
graphics. 

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as "Today's Reports," on its 
Web site daily. The list contains links to the full-text document 
files. To have GAO e-mail this list to you every afternoon, go to 
www.gao.gov and select "Subscribe to e-mail alerts" under the "Order 
GAO Products" heading. 

Order by Mail or Phone: 

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office 

441 G Street NW, Room LM 

Washington, D.C. 20548: 

To order by Phone: 

Voice: (202) 512-6000: 

TDD: (202) 512-2537: 

Fax: (202) 512-6061: 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 

Contact: 

Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm 

E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov 

Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Public Affairs: 

Jeff Nelligan, managing director, 

NelliganJ@gao.gov 

(202) 512-4800 

U.S. Government Accountability Office, 

441 G Street NW, Room 7149 

Washington, D.C. 20548: