Argument: Retraining workers that lose from free trade is costly
Diana Furchtgott-Roth,”Free Trade Advantage”December1,2006 One major program for workers affected by trade is Trade Adjustment Assistance. TAA services include higher levels of benefits for a longer period, career counseling, job search help, résumé preparation assistance, and interview skills preparation. Plus, the program provides information on the local job market, training and educational opportunities, and health benefits, all designed to help laid-off workers get on their feet quickly.The government assisted 100,000 individuals through this program in 2005. In FY 2005, the government spent about $1 billion on the program or approximately $10,000 dollars per displaced worker. Benefits are available for up to two years, and a Health Coverage Tax Credit, worth up to 65% of health insurance premiums, is also available to workers undergoing retraining.In addition, the Department of Labor is addressing the decline of Eastman Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch & Lomb in upstate New York by investing $15 million in the Finger Lakes Partnership. Working with Monroe Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, and Genesee Community College, the project attempts to create an entrepreneurial culture focusing on optics, agriculture and food processing, advanced manufacturing, and biotechnology.