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Media contact: Rick Van Cise, WorkSource communications, 360-902-9454

OLYMPIA – The U.S. Department of Labor has ruled that dozens of workers who lost jobs when International Paper Company closed its corrugated container plant in Bellevue last November are now eligible for the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.  

Through Washington’s WorkSource centers, TAA helps retrain and re-employ workers who lost jobs due to international trade.  The federally funded program also assists workers with job searches and relocation.

In its ruling, the Department of Labor found that an increase in imported boxes led to the shutdown of the Bellevue plant, which produced containers for seafood and industrial use.  The closure last year resulted in the loss of 76 jobs.

Under the certification, the state Employment Security Commissioner and the WorkSource career-development system will work together to provide the workers with unemployment benefits, job training, career counseling and job-search assistance. 

“The goal is to help these workers move into new careers that have a more solid future,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause.

Through the TAA program, Employment Security and WorkSource have already helped many Washington workers left jobless by overseas trade, including mill workers in Grays Harbor County who’ve retrained to become chefs, auto mechanics and computer-aided designers.

Employment Security will notify the affected Bellevue employees by mail, but anyone who may be eligible for assistance should visit his or her local WorkSource center.  

WorkSource is a statewide partnership of Employment Security, other state agencies, local governments, colleges and nonprofit organizations that work together to provide free employment and training services to job seekers and employers. WorkSource also can help employers recruit and screen for qualified workers, apply for employment tax breaks and qualify for subsidized employee training. 

Locations of local WorkSource offices may be found online at www.go2worksource.com or by calling toll-free 877-872-5627.  


Broadcast version

Seventy-six workers who lost jobs when International Paper closed its Bellevue box factory last year are now eligible for a special retraining program for those left jobless by international trade.  

The U. S. labor Department has ruled that a jump in imported boxes led to the shutdown of the Bellevue plant, which produced containers for seafood and industrial use.  

Through federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, the workers receive extended unemployment benefits, job training, career counseling, job-search assistance and many other services.  The benefits and services are delivered through the state Employment Security Department and local WorkSource centers.  

Affected workers will be contacted by the Employment Security or can go to any WorkSource center for help.