Dislocated Workers:

Comparison of Programs

T-HRD-92-57: Published: Sep 10, 1992. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Department of Labor's (DOL) Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Economic Dislocation and Worker Adjustment Assistance (EDWAA) programs and the President's proposal to replace them with a single, comprehensive program. GAO noted that: (1) both programs are slow in reaching dislocated workers, but workers that receive timely assistance appear to find jobs sooner; (2) delays in TAA training assistance are generally due to the worker certification and notification process, which requires that DOL certify that workers have been dislocated due to increased imports; (3) EDWAA does not have a certification requirement, but assistance for EDWAA participants is slow; (4) under the President's proposal, the certification requirement would be eliminated, and all workers would be eligible for assistance without regard to the reason for dislocation; (5) the reemployment potential of dislocated workers is enhanced when assistance options and independent assessments tailor services to the varied skills and interests of workers; (6) dislocated workers need income support to participate in classroom training, which TAA provides, but EDWAA does not; (7) the availability of additional income support after workers exhaust their 26 weeks of unemployment insurance gives them the option to enter longer-term training; (8) reporting systems that track participant progress and program performance are critical to ensuring that federal assistance is effective; and (9) the President's proposal recognizes the need for extensive feedback, but does not mention reporting requirements.

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