From Magic City Morning Star

Laid Off Workers in Ashland and Patten Certified for Assistance
By Newswire
Mar 27, 2011 - 12:13:21 AM

Congressman Mike Michaud has praised the announcement made by the U.S. Department of Labor that former workers at Fraser Timber Limited in Ashland and Anderson Hardwood Floors, LLC in Patten are now eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) made possible through the Recovery Act.

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that the workers at Fraser Timber Limited lost their jobs due to an increase in imports of dimensional lumber. An investigation also concluded that workers at Anderson Hardwood Floors, a subsidiary of Shaw Industries Incorporated, who produced veneers for engineered hardwood flooring, lost their jobs due to an increase of imported products like or directly competitive with those produced in Maine.

"These workers lost their jobs through no fault of their own because of a flood of foreign imports" said Michaud. "TAA benefits will provide these workers with important skills assessments, training, and job search assistance. And while the granting of this assistance is positive news for these workers, it reinforces the need for our country to promote trade agreements that benefit workers and businesses operating here. The Obama Administration should take a close look at how our current trade policies affect Maine workers and communities before they continue to push more NAFTA style deals with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia."

TAA is a Department of Labor program that helps workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or a shift of production outside of the United States. TAA provides trade-affected workers with a variety of reemployment services and benefits to help them find new jobs and get back to work.

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