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Laid-off Keller workers qualify for assistance

INDIANAPOLIS ‘ The Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development announced today that the U.S. Dept. of Labor has ruled that former employees of Harrison County’s Keller Manufacturing Co. Inc. have qualified for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance.
Administered at the state level by the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is available to workers who are displaced due to foreign imports or shifts in production out of the country.
Founded in 1866 and originally a wagon maker, Keller Manufacturing makes wooden bedroom, dining room, and occasional furniture.
In order for dislocated workers to be eligible for TAA benefits, a company executive, union representative or three former employees must file a petition with U.S. Dept. of Labor (USDOL) and it must be approved before benefits can be released. A petition was filed by a company official on May 13, 2004.
The USDOL investigation found that an increase of wood furniture imports contributed to the job loss at Keller. With the ruling, any employee who was totally or partially separated from employment on or after May 12, 2003, through two years from the date of certification is eligible to apply for adjustment assistance.
The TAA program provides a variety of benefits and services to help unemployed workers prepare for and obtain suitable employment. Workers may be eligible for a variety of re-employment services, job search and relocation allowances and training. In addition, weekly trade readjustment allowances may be payable to eligible workers following the exhaustion of unemployment insurance benefits.
Additionally, the Dept. of Labor issued a certification for Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) for separated older workers at Keller Manufacturing. A significant number of workers at the company age 50 or over possess skills that are not easily transferable and that competitive conditions within the industry are adverse. Older workers may choose between regular TAA benefits, or a wage subsidy of 50 percent of the difference between their new salary and old salary, up to $10,000.
Information sessions for workers on how to apply for TAA, and ATAA are being planned and will be announced at a later date.
Eligible parties may also contact Cal Kaina the New Albany WorkOne at 1-812-948-6102, or any WorkOne Center for more information.