Trade Adjustment Assistance Program Provides Relief for Displaced Workers

After nearly 20 years working at a tech company, Mundy Kiester was laid off and her job was moved overseas.

MundyKiesterThe largest hurdle she faced was adjusting to the lack of income – any job she found provided less than half what she made working at her previous employer.

Following her layoff, Kiester applied for Trade Adjustment Assistance through the Idaho Department of Labor. TAA is a federal program for retraining employees who were laid off because their jobs were moved overseas. The program provides training and reemployment services, job search assistance, relocation assistance and weekly monetary benefits when state unemployment benefits are exhausted.

According to a survey conducted in 2014 by the Employment and Training Administration, 77 percent of TAA participants found employment within six months. Since 2014, the program has served more than 2,210,934 workers nationally.

Through the TAA program, Kiester attended school to train for her new career as a medical assistant at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center. She also received unemployment insurance benefits to supplement her loss of income.

“They helped me get everything I needed like books, supplies and helped to figure out what I wanted to do and what I could do,” Kiester said. “My school was paid for and I was able to go to school without worry. I was able to seek employment while going to school, which was a big help.”

Learn more about the TAA program.

— Sean Bunce,
Idaho Department of Labor