Laid off Austintown workers receive federal benefits

By Kalea Hall


About 170 laid-off workers at the Comprehensive Logistics/Source Providers plant in Austintown have qualified for Trade Adjustment Assistance.

TAA program benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor include employment and case management services; training; Trade Adjustment Allowance; job search allowance; and a wage subsidy for up to two years that is available to re-employed older workers.

To be approved for TAA basically means the laid-off workers are able to take advantage of the programs “for workers who become unemployed because of increased imports from, or shifts in work to, foreign countries, to help them become re-employed,” Angela Terez, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services spokeswoman explained.

Comprehensive Logistics/Source Providers performs logistics for the General Motors Lordstown Plant where the Chevrolet Cruze is built. The loss of the third shift at the GM plant in January led to layoffs at Comprehensive and other area plants. GM cut the shift at Lordstown to align with market demand for small cars.

Jose Arroyo, United Steelworkers representative, decided to apply for TAA after reading a story in The Vindicator about the Cruze Hatchback, which is produced in Mexico. The Jan. 4. story pointed out that with the loss of the third shift for production of the sedan Cruze, there’s now time available to produce the hatchback Cruze here.

“I was cautiously optimistic about our claim,” Arroyo said. “I felt like our claim had merit.”

Arroyo said it’s protocol for the union to look at all the benefits available for affected workers. The TAA program also benefits salaried workers, Arroyo said.

“The Trade Adjustment Assistance offered to those workers at Source Providers Co. Inc. who lost their jobs will speed up the process of getting them back in the workforce,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, in a statement. “My office will continue to work with Source Providers Co. Inc. to ensure that needed resources for these workers are provided during this difficult transition.”

The U.S. Department of Labor also accepted the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ TAA application for assembly and stamping plant workers at the GM Lordstown plant. More than 600 workers were laid off on the assembly side of the plant with the third shift cut. On the stamping plant side, about 235 were affected.

An application for Intier Seating Systems is still under review. Intier of Warren makes the seats for the Cruze.

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