Labor Department Responds to Goodyear Closure

Thursday, July 28, 2011 | 12:06 pm
Unemployment Benefits and Training Grants Available to Affected Workers
– The announcement on Monday, July 11, that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company had ceased production at its tire manufacturing plant in Union City has prompted key sections of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to come together to develop plans for assisting dislocated workers.
“We’ve already had joint meetings with company management and union officials, and those will be continuing,” said Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. “The Goodyear shutdown project is a tremendous, collaborative effort.”
A special Career Center has been established to assist Goodyear employees and is currently holding orientation and workshop sessions. The office is located at 204 S. 2nd Street in Union City across the street from the Tennessee Career Center serving Union City residents.

Today, Labor’s Workforce Development Division held Rapid Response meetings with Goodyear employees at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The meetings cover benefits and eligibility for services and will continue through August 4.

Rapid Response Meeting Schedule
July 27
7-10am, 11am-2pm, 4-7pm
July 28
7-10am, 11am-2pm, 4-7pm
July 29
7-10am, 11am-2pm, 4-7pm
July 30
9am - Noon
August 1
7-10am, 11am-2pm, 4-7pm
August 2
7-10am, 11am-2pm, 4-7pm
August 3
7-10am, 11am-2pm, 4-7pm
August 4
7-10am, 11am-2pm, 4-7pm
Goodyear’s unemployment insurance claims have been expedited by utilizing the Automated Partial System (APS), a database which processes all employees’ claims electronically rather than having employees file individually. Employment Security staff worked diligently to input employee information necessary to build the database.  Goodyear hourly employees can expect their initial benefit payment this week.

Approximately $2 million in Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) has been approved for 1,900 employees of Goodyear and some suppliers. TAA generally provides up to two years of training at a Board of Regents approved school for employees affected by foreign trade. Training programs must be in a high demand occupation such as Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Paramedic, Certified Production Technology, Truck Driving, Welding, and Industrial Maintenance. State Trade Adjustment Assistance Coordinator Barbara Boyd will be available in Union City this week to assist workers with questions related to training.
Once individuals have exhausted the initial 26 weeks of Tennessee Unemployment Compensation, Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) provide income support to individuals while they are participating in full-time training. Certified workers may be eligible for 104 weeks of income support.

More than 300 Goodyear employees are residents of the state of Kentucky. Tennessee Department of Labor staff are coordinating with labor officials in Kentucky to streamline training efforts, unemployment benefits, and other job services so workers can receive the same service in the state in which they live.

Contractors associated with Goodyear are also covered under the TAA petition including the following: Hamilton-Ryker, Securitas Security Services, Take Care Corporation, Conestoga Rovers, Phillips Engineering, Rockwell Engineering, Excel Logistics, and American Food and Vending.
The Department of Labor’s Workforce Development division has applied for a $3.4 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) to serve 850 workers in multiple counties that have requested retraining services, subsidized employment, and on-the-job training. The application is currently being reviewed by the USDOL in Washington and is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.
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