WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today urged the U.S. Department of Labor to approve Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers facing layoffs in Franklin to gain training to help them find new family-sustaining jobs.
“The employees losing their jobs in Franklin are facing uncertainty and hardship, so in this difficult time it is important we provide every possible resource to help them gain the skills they need to find new work and support their families,” said Senator Casey. “I’ve fought to continue the Trade Adjustment Assistance program so Pennsylvania workers have the resources they need to find new work, and I urge the Department of Labor to approve assistance for these workers in Franklin.”
56 employees of WS Packaging Group, Inc. will lose their jobs next month due to foreign competition. TAA is a program Senator Casey has fought for to help workers who lost their jobs due to unfair foreign trade gain skills to find new work. Senator Casey led the effort to extend the TAA program last year.
His letter to the Department of Labor is below:
The Honorable Jane Oates
Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration
United States Department of Labor
Dear Assistant Secretary Oates:
I am writing to support the expeditious processing and a favorable decision for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Petition submitted on behalf of employees of WS Packaging Group, Inc. in Franklin, Pennsylvania. I have been informed that at the beginning of September of this year, this label packaging printer will be closing its flexographic printing operation and laying off 56 of its employees. I understand that this layoff comes as a result of increased competition from Canada, Australia, and Mexico, as well as some of their work being shifted to a WS Packaging Group plant in Mexico.
Venango County, in which this plant is located, faced 7.7% unemployment in June of 2012, and is specifically lacking sufficient jobs that require similar skills as those used in flexographic printing to provide new careers for these workers. In order for them to move on to new, family sustaining jobs, it is likely that they will need the educational benefits provided in this program. I ask that you consider their petition as quickly as is possible so that there is no delay in their taking advantage of these benefits.
Thank you for your attention to this request.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator