Senator Max Baucus Announces Job Training and Support for Montana Hostess Workers

Senator’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Legislation to Help More Than 200 Montana Workers Find and Train for New Jobs

Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus announced today that more than 200 Montana Hostess workers will qualify for support and training to help them land new jobs after Hostess brands announced it was closing operations nationwide in November. The support comes from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program Baucus has repeatedly championed in the Senate. The program will expire at the end of this year, and Baucus will again lead the charge to ensure it is extended.

"We can’t let honest, hard-working Montana families fall through the cracks because of corporate decisions they can’t control. TAA will give these folks the skills and support they need to get ahead in today’s job market and land the good-paying jobs they deserve. And at the same time, investing in Montana workers will give Montana businesses a competitive advantage by making sure they have access to the skilled workers they need to grow," Baucus said. "Investing in Montana workers is a no-brainer. Today’s news makes me more committed than ever to making sure TAA is extended again this year."

Through Baucus’ TAA program, Montana Hostess workers will qualify for:

* Personalized job training that best suits their needs – examples can include everything from short-term certificate programs to going back to school to earn a new degree.

* Help finding a new job through the Montana State Job Service Program.

* Extended Unemployment Insurance benefits.

* Support to cover 72.5 percent of qualified health insurance premiums.

Workers should contact their local Montana Jobs Service office to determine their eligibility and apply for benefits. A complete listing of Montana Jobs Service Offices and contact information is available HERE.

History of Baucus’ work on TAA:

* Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee with sole jurisdiction over the TAA program, and he has repeatedly worked to ensure it is updated and extended to serve Montana workers. The last time Baucus extended TAA was in 2011. The program expires again this year, and Baucus is working to build a bi-partisan coalition to ensure it is extended.

* Since 2009, when Baucus expanded TAA to better serve more workers, approximately 800 workers at nearly 40 companies in Montana have been approved to receive TAA benefits. These companies include: Plum Creek, Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, Montana Rail Link, Montana Tunnels Mining, Inc., and A.W. Pratt, Inc.

* In fiscal year 2012, $6,009,881 in TAA funds provided to help Montana workers.

* In addition to support for workers and firms, TAA also includes support for Community Colleges that retrain workers. For example, in September 2012, Baucus announced $3.6 million in grants for worker training programs at Flathead Valley Community College.

Contact: Jenny Donohue 202-224-2651/ Kathy Weber 406-329-7980

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