Dislocated Workers:

A Look Back at the Redwood Employment Training Programs

HRD-94-16BR: Published: Dec 13, 1993. Publicly Released: Dec 13, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the implementation of the Redwood National Park, California, worker assistance program, focusing on the: (1) assistance provided; (2) outcomes for workers who received assistance; and (3) changes in the affected communities.

GAO found that: (1) the assistance program has provided wage replacement benefits or severance payments totalling about $104 million to 3,500 individuals; (2) few dislocated workers have enrolled in retraining programs because monetary benefits are not tied to retraining and program implementation has been delayed 14 months; (3) about 95 percent of the enrollees have completed their retraining and 25 percent of them have been relocated; (4) it could not determine what happened to individuals after receiving benefits or retraining because program records are no longer available; (5) per capita income has dropped dramatically and average new housing values have fluctuated in both affected counties due to implementation of the assistance program; and (6) future assistance programs for dislocated timber workers should closely tie benefits to participation in retraining programs, create new job opportunities in the affected communities, and help dislocated workers at the time of job loss to increase participation in assistance programs.

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