After Support from Cantwell, Federal Assistance Approved for Former Ponderay Newsprint Workers

TAA support will include reemployment, retraining resources for roughly 150 workers

WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced it has approved a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition to support roughly 150 workers in Pend Oreille County laid off by Ponderay Newsprint Company. Among other benefits, the federal support will provide workers with income support, funds to participate in reemployment and retraining programs, and a tax credit for health care.

The announcement follows a letter sent by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to the U.S. Department of Labor in support of the TAA petition.

“It is critical that the workers laid off by Ponderay Newsprint receive the retraining and reemployment resources available through TAA certification,” Cantwell wrote in her letter to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. “Trade Adjustment Assistance will allow them to recover more quickly, support their families, and continue to contribute to their communities and our economy.”

Senator Cantwell helped secure a provision in the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress in December that provides a one-year extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). This credit significantly reduces health care premium costs for TAA-eligible individuals enrolled in COBRA health insurance plans.