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Help Available For Former Bloomington GE Plant Workers
Updated September 26, 2016 7:05 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Assistance is now available for former Bloomington GE Appliances plant workers to prepare for and obtain suitable employment.

According to an Indiana Department of Workforce Development release, those who worked at the Bloomington plant between January 24, 2016, and its closure are eligible to benefit from the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

The program aids workers who "are displaced due to foreign imports or shifts in production out of the country," according to the release.

The worker group's program eligibility expired January 23, so for workers to continue to be certified, the U.S. Department of Labor had to launch another investigation on August 23 at the request of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2249.

Hope Kinglock, certifying officer for the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance, once again granted workers assistance certification after finding a foreign country's acquisition of the plant had been a direct influence on the significant number of workers who partially or completely lost their jobs.

Bloomington plant workers qualified, in part, because of the recent loss of more than 328 employees after GE Appliances' acquisition by the Chinese appliance company Haier.

Under this renewed eligibility, those who worked after the first certification expired will receive the same benefits offered to workers before the certification's expiration. Those benefits may include: a trade readjustment allowance that provides income support in the form of weekly cash payments to workers enrolled in a full-time training course paid to those who have exhausted their unemployment insurance; training, job search and relocation allowances; case management funding; and a health coverage tax credit.

According to standard procedure, the eligibility status extends two years from the certification's signing on September 14 to 2018, even if there aren't current plans for any employment in that time period.

Those 50 years old or older also may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 percent of the difference between their new and old salary up to $10,000 under the federal Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

Employees interested in inquiring about eligibility are encouraged to contact their local WorkOne Career Center. Additional services available to all include skills assessments, training programs, resume and interview preparation, job matching and more.

The Bloomington WorkOne Career Center is located at 450 S. Landmark Ave. The center can be reached by calling (812) 331-6000. A listing of WorkOne Career Centers located throughout the state is available at WorkOneWorks.com.



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