U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

TAA

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

OAS

ISSUE DATE

July 20, 2000

RESCISSIONS

 

EXPIRATION DATE

Continuing

DIRECTIVE : TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION NOTICE NO. 01-00
 
TO : ALL STATE WORKFORCE LIAISONS
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES
ALL STATE WORKER ADJUSTMENT LIAISONS
ALL ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER SYSTEM LEADS
 
FROM : Wendy L. McConnell for:
LENITA JACOBS-SIMMONS
Deputy Assistant Secretary
 
SUBJECT : Formation of a Trade Act Taskforce for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), North American Free Trade Agreement - Transitional Adjustment Assistance (NAFTA-TAA), and Secondarily-Affected Worker Programs

  1. Purpose. To announce the establishment of a Trade Act Taskforce.

  2. References. The Trade Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-618), as amended; and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 (P.L. 105-220).

  3. Background. Over the past several years, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has looked at ways to improve the operation of the TAA, NAFTA-TAA and Secondarily-Affected Worker programs and improve the outcomes of participants in these programs. In this quest, ETA sponsored various projects that focused on: increasing the effectiveness of staff in State and local agencies that administer services and benefits under the programs; developing better service delivery systems; and implementing more effective customer satisfaction practices. In addition to these system-building efforts, ETA also recommended program and administrative improvements through reform legislation proposed in the last session of Congress.

    The enactment of the WIA provides a tremendous opportunity to continue these efforts to streamline the Trade Act programs' service delivery processes and further develop their continuous improvement processes. The WIA creates a new workforce investment system built around the One-Stop center concept and makes the Trade Act programs required partners in the new system. While this poses some new questions and additional challenges, integrating the Trade Act programs' operations with those of the other partner programs should help eliminate any duplication of effort and increase customer satisfaction. However, questions on how to do this successfully must be answered and technical assistance needs to be provided.

    ETA, in establishing a Trade Act Taskforce, seeks to build on prior efforts and continue making operational and administrative improvements to the Trade Act programs, as well as improving their service delivery in the new One-Stop environment.

  4. The Trade Act Taskforce. The Taskforce is charged with reviewing, analyzing and making recommendations for improving services provided to trade-affected workers under the TAA, NAFTA-TAA, and Secondarily-Affected Worker programs operating under the new workforce investment system. It will also examine other areas within these programs and the system as a whole for possible changes and improvements. The Taskforce is expected to last at least 12 months and meet approximately bi-monthly. Work on products started at the meetings will continue via conference calls between meetings.

    The Taskforce held its first official meeting in February. At the meeting, the Taskforce identified five broad categories as areas that needed to be addressed to ensure the efficient operation and continuous improvement of the programs. These areas are: (1) integration of the Trade Act programs with the WIA; (2) training strategies for the service delivery system; (3) communication strategies; (4) assessment of the programs; and (5) fiscal management. The Taskforce's work over the next year will be focused on these five key areas.

  5. Taskforce Membership. The Taskforce is composed of Federal, State and local representatives from across the country. Federal representation on the Taskforce consists of members from the Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance (DTAA), as well as members from offices of other WIA partner programs and several ETA Regional Offices. State and local representatives were selected from nominees provided by ETA Regional Offices and include experienced coordinators from the Trade Act and Dislocated Worker programs. State and local representatives were chosen to achieve geographic diversity and an appropriate mix of States with varying degrees of TAA/NAFTA-TAA activity, and include members from States that were early implementers of the WIA, as well as members of the Dislocated Worker/Rapid Response Workgroup with an interest in trade-related issues who serve as a link between the two groups.

    A complete list of the members' names and titles can be found in the attachment.

    Additional members may be considered if it is deemed necessary for the Taskforce to meet its objectives and accomplish its goals. Persons from labor organizations, economic development groups, employers, the Department of Commerce (TAA for Firms program), and other related entities, may be brought in as affiliate members when the Taskforce addresses areas where their input would be most beneficial.

  6. Inquiries. Questions on this TEIN should be directed to the appropriate ETA Regional Office.

  7. Attachment. Trade Act Taskforce Member List.