Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) - Program Overview

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Workers is a federally funded program, with no costs to employers, that helps workers who are adversely affected by foreign imports or job shifts to a foreign country. Assistance is provided to eligible workers in the form of reemployment services, training, job search, relocation, and support benefits in the form of Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) and/or Alternative/Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA/RTAA) for older workers.

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The TAA program serves those who are adversely affected by foreign imports or job shifts to a foreign country. This program seeks to provide adversely affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support necessary to become reemployed. To qualify, applicants must be laid off from a job covered under a trade petition certified by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

To receive TAA benefits and services, applicants must file a petition online or by mail with DOL. Petitions may be filed by:

  • Two or more workers in the same firm or subdivision;
  • The workers' employer;
  • A union official or other duly authorized representative of such workers; or
  • Texas Workforce Solutions

Generally, if a worker is laid off, a petition must be submitted within one year of the layoff for that worker to be covered by the petition and the certification if DOL grants the petition.

Upon receiving a petition, DOL initiates an investigation to determine whether the circumstances of the layoff meet the group eligibility criteria established by the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.

A petition identifies a worker group at a specific firm or subdivision and covers all individuals in that group. A group of workers may be eligible for TAA if their jobs are lost or threatened due to trade-related circumstances as determined by the DOL investigation. These circumstances may include:

  • Increased imports of either articles or services;
  • A shift in production to or an acquisition of services or articles from any foreign country by a worker's company;
  • A worker's employer's loss of business from a customer with TAA-certified workers; or
  • A worker's employer is identified as trade-injured by the International Trade Commission (ITC).

When a trade petition is certified by DOL, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will contact the employer to secure a list of the affected workers and send each individual listed under the petition a notice (Form BT-1) that includes the following information:

  • Notification of potential eligibility for the TAA program
  • TAA program benefits and services
  • Deadline to apply for benefits
  • Instructions to contact a Workforce Solutions office as soon as possible

Benefits and services available to certified trade-impacted workers vary depending upon the Trade law in effect at the time of DOL certification. Broadly speaking, the benefits and services include the following:

Benefits & Services Description
Employment and Case Management Services Skill assessments, career counseling, job search assistance, information on training, and more.
Training Vocational and remedial training. The maximum duration of TAA-supported training will vary between 104 and 156 weeks, dependent on petition number.
Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) Wage subsidies for workers enrolled in full-time training who are enrolled no later than their waiver/in training deadline date. The maximum duration of TRA support will vary between 104 and 156 weeks, dependent on petition number and course of training.
Alternative/Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (A/RTAA) A wage subsidy for up to 2 years available to workers age 50 or over who are reemployed at annual wages of $50,000 or less.
Job Search Allowance Reimbursement for job search costs outside the worker's local area.
Relocation Allowance Reimbursement for relocation costs for a job outside the worker's local area.

Additional information on benefits and services are available at the DOL website.

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Pursuant to Texas Labor Code §302.007, TWC is required to submit the Trade Adjustment Assistance Annual Report to the Texas Legislature. This report provides data regarding job placement, job retention, earnings, and the industries of workers who took jobs following a training program.

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Authority & Funding

The U.S. Department of Labor oversees the TAA program. At the state level, TWC administers and oversees TAA, and shares in the delivery of TAA services with the 28 Workforce Development Boards (Boards).

The U.S. Department of Labor allocates funds to the states to pay for administrative and operational costs. TWC then distributes funds to the Boards.

TAA is governed by the following:

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Tips & Guides

Access the TAA Handbook and additional information about specific program benefits and related services.

TAA Handbook


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