The Journal Gazette
Friday, January 22, 2021 1:00 am

Laid-off workers at 2 area plants can get federal help

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Two northeast Indiana workforces have been approved for federal retraining benefits because their employers are closing operations, state officials announced Thursday.

Employees of auto suppliers Vibracoustic in Ligonier and Metaldyne/AAM Driveline in Fremont are eligible to apply for benefits and services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said.

The program falls under the U.S. Department of Labor's umbrella and was designed to assist workers who lose jobs because of foreign trade. Eligible workers can receive help at the nearest WorkOne center.

TAA services and benefits include:

• Training – covering 100% of all required costs of acquiring job skills in demand

• Income support – Up to 130 weeks of income-support payments

• Job search and relocation allowances – reimbursement of 90% of allowable costs to travel to an interview or other job-search activity or relocation for a new job

• Wage subsidy – for workers ages 50 and older up to $10,000 when they accept a job at lower pay than what they previously earned

• Health care tax credit – IRS tax credit of 72.5% of qualifying monthly health care premiums

“Many benefits are time-sensitive,” the news release said. “Workers have up to 26 weeks from their certification date, or 26 weeks from their separation date (whichever is later) to enroll in training to receive income support benefits.”

Any Metaldyne worker laid off on or after Oct. 27, 2019, or anyone scheduled to be laid off before Nov. 17, 2022, may apply for benefits. Their certification date was Nov. 17.

Any Vibracoustic employee laid off on or after July 22, 2019, or anyone scheduled to be laid off before Nov. 6, 2022, may apply, state officials said. Their certification date was Nov. 6.

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