Dislocated Workers:

Trade Adjustment Assistance Program Flawed

T-HRD-94-4: Published: Oct 19, 1993. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 1993.

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GAO discussed federal efforts to assist dislocated workers through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. GAO noted that: (1) approximately 1 million workers lose their jobs annually due to business closures, permanent layoffs, and increased imports; (2) many workers receive assistance from the TAA program to help them reenter the workforce; (3) TAA benefits are not equally accessible to all dislocated workers because its certification process is flawed and unemployment insurance qualification criteria vary among states; (4) there are delays in the delivery of TAA assistance because of a complex and burdensome certification and notification process; (5) TAA participants may not receive services that meet their needs because only a limited mix of services is provided; (6) TAA lacks ongoing counseling and support to ensure training completion and help dislocated workers reenter the workforce; (7) the use of liberal waiver provisions has resulted in many TAA recipients not participating in training programs; (8) TAA does not provide follow-up assistance to participants after they complete training to help ensure that they find jobs related to their training; (9) TAA lacks a system to monitor program performance and effectiveness; and (10) the existence of several other targeted dislocated worker assistance programs suggests that the nation's overall approach to dislocated worker assistance needs review.

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