Direct Energy ex-workers may get TRA help
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
11/14/12 at 2:55 AM
Former employees of Direct Energy in Tulsa have been approved for trade benefits, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission announced Friday.
Laid-off employees of Direct Energy, Residential Division, Back Office Customer Support in Tulsa are eligible for the Trade Readjustment Assistance program, which provides assistance to those who lose jobs or significant work hours because of increased imports or a shift in production out of the United States.
TRA-certified workers can access services such as income support, relocation and job search allowances, and health coverage tax credits.
Those who need retraining for suitable employment may receive occupational training. The goal is to quickly reconnect laid-off workers with suitable employment, OESC officials said.
Direct Energy, an electricity and natural gas retailer, in April announced it would lay off 80 people at its operations hub in Tulsa, beginning in November, to streamline operations.
To qualify for TRA, applicants must be laid off or threatened with layoff; employer sales or production must decrease; and increased imports of products that compete with the company's products must contribute to layoffs or the threat of layoffs, according to the OESC.
The company estimates that 65 people will be affected and potentially eligible for TRA assistance, said John Carpenter, the OESC's public information officer.
Once certified, TRA recipients must enroll in training, though the state can waive this requirement in certain cases.
Workers who may qualify for the TRA assistance also include on-site leased workers from Primary Services and Inceed who worked for Direct Energy.
Workers who became totally or partially separated from employment on or after Sept. 12, 2011, through Oct. 12, 2014, are eligible to apply for adjustment assistance. Also, all workers threatened with total or partial separation from employment on Oct., 12, 2012, through Oct. 12, 2014, are eligible to apply.
Those who want to apply for TRA should contact their nearest Workforce Oklahoma Center at 888-980-9675.
Original Print Headline: TRA may help former workers
Laurie Winslow 918-581-8466