Trade Adjustment Assistance: Results of GAO's Survey of Participant Firms in the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Program (GAO-12-935SP, September 2012), an E-supplement to GAO-12-930
Read the Full Report: Trade Adjustment Assistance: Manufacturing Firms Benefited from the Program, but Metrics, Data, and Funding Formula Could Improve (GAO-12-930).
This e-supplement presents the results of GAO's web-based survey of participant firms in the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Firms program. Established in 1962, the TAA for Firms program helps trade-impacted, economically distressed firms make strategic adjustments to help enable them to recover and compete in the global economy. The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) administers the program and funds 11 TAA Centers covering different geographic regions composed of one to eight states. Each Center assists firms in its geographic region by conducting outreach efforts, helping firms certify as eligible for program assistance, developing firms' business recovery plans, and providing matching funds to implement projects in the plans through third-party consultants.
To better understand firms' perspectives about their experiences with the program and gauge the program's effectiveness, we surveyed firms that had a business recovery plan approved in fiscal year 2009. Our questionnaire asked representatives of participant firms about (1) how they learned of the program and the TAA Center, (2) their level of satisfaction with the Center's services, (3) the projects in their business recovery plans and their impact, (4) the level of satisfaction with the third-party consultants, and (5) the overall effects of the program's assistance on the firm. We designed and tested our self-administered questionnaire in consultation with EDA officials, Center staff, and participant firms.
We administered the survey from March 2012 to April 2012. We surveyed 163 firms and received usable responses from 117 of them, for a final response rate of 72 percent. We conducted an analysis of our survey results to identify potential sources of nonresponse bias by comparing respondents to nonrespondents on key characteristics. Based on our analysis, we did not observe any large differences between respondents and nonrespondents for these characteristics. We also took steps to minimize errors of response measurement and data processing. As a result, we determined the survey results for the 117 respondents were sufficiently reliable to present in our report. Because of rounding rules, percentages for some results shown in the tables may not add to 100 percent, and some may add to over 100 percent.
We conducted our work in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
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J. Alfredo Gomez, 202-512-4101
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