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Worker training/education FAQ

What is Employment Security’s role in the workforce training system?
A. Employment Security works with the state’s 12 workforce development councils and other partners to administer the WorkSource employment system. WorkSource centers offer a variety of job-finding resources, including workshops on résumés, interviewing, and how to get and keep a job. 

The department also administers federal Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds - one of the primary sources of funds for employment training in Washington. The department disperses these funds to local workforce development councils, which are responsible for designing and delivering employment and training services. The money is used to assist at-risk students, low-income adults, dislocated workers and other job seekers. Services include skill assessments, individual counseling, job-readiness training and occupational training. The goal is to meet employer demand for skilled, qualified workers. 

Employment Security monitors local workforce development councils to ensure they comply with federal laws and regulations on how the money is used. 

In addition, the department administers federal Trade Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance programs in Washington. The programs aid workers who have lost their jobs because of increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States. Workers certified through these programs may be eligible to receive training, extended income assistance, travel and other benefits to help them return to work. 

People who need help finding a job or obtaining job training should visit their nearest WorkSource center. Offices are listed online and in the blue pages of the phone book.

Q. How is worker training provided? Who does it?
A. Many organizations help provide worker training, including community and technical colleges, universities, private schools, workforce development councils, and the Employment Security Department. The goal of employment and training programs is to help workers obtain family-wage jobs. As a result, training programs typically focus on occupations that are in demand with businesses. 

One of the primary sources of funding for employment and training programs in Washington is through the federal Workforce Investment Act. Employment Security oversees the distribution and use of these funds in Washington.

The funds primarily go to local workforce development councils, which design and deliver worker-training services within their communities, based on skills needed by local employers.

People who need help finding a job or obtaining job training should visit their nearest WorkSource center. Office locations are listed online and in the blue pages of the phone book. Some programs and services are available only to individuals who meet specific eligibility requirements. A list of certified private schools providing training can be found at wtb.wa.gov.

Q. What is Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and how does it work?
 The federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours and wages are reduced due to international trade. TAA offers a variety of benefits and re-employment services to help unemployed workers prepare for and obtain new jobs. Workers may be eligible for training, job-search and relocation allowances, income support and other re-employment services. The TAA Program is administered by the Employment Security Department, and certified workers apply for these services and benefits through local WorkSource offices.

Q. What is Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)?
A. Trade Readjustment Allowance benefits are weekly benefits that may be paid to TAA-certified workers when their unemployment-insurance benefits run out, if they are enrolled in approved training or continuing to look for work. 

In general, certified workers may be eligible for up to 156 weeks of income support. Support amounts are usually allocated as follows: 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance, followed by 26 weeks of Basic Trade Readjustment Allowance (must either look for work or be enrolled in training) and, once the Basic Trade Readjustment Allowance is exhausted, up to 78 weeks of additional Trade Readjustment Allowance if in training. Another 26 weeks of Additional TRA also could be paid if remedial or prerequisite training is required. Unemployment-insurance extensions take the place of TRA benefits dollar-for-dollar. If extended unemployment benefits are available, those benefits reduce the total amount of Basic and Additional TRA weeks available to not exceed the maximum of 156 weeks of benefits.