For laid-off millworkers, resources are available, including the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, said Ron Hemingway, president of Local 900 of the United Steelworkers Union.

The TAA program is a federal program established under the Trade Act of 1974 that provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports. Workers may be eligible for training, job search and relocation allowances, income support and other re-employment services.

“Under that, you might be able to receive up to 18 months of unemployment, and that’s for people who would enroll in an approved program or a school, like truck driving or whatever they want to go for. Schooling would be covered for up to two years,” Hemingway said.

Assistance is available “if you left here and went on another job,” he said. “If it was the right kind of job and you’re qualified, you might be able to get a subsidy on your wages. If you left a $25 an hour job here and you went and got a $15 an hour job, they might pay you a subsidy. That type of thing is available.” 

Other resources are available through the Maine Department of Labor and Maine CareerCenters in Wilton, Augusta, Lewiston, Bangor, Brunswick, Calais, Machias, Greater Portland, Presque Isle, Rockland, Skowhegan and Springvale.

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