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Displaced Area Workers Receive Some Good News

By Staff | Apr 20, 2010

Former employees of Skyjack Manufacturing received some good news following a report to the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. Maureen Elbert, Executive Director to Palo Alto-Kossuth Economic Development, was on hand to brief the supervisors about a new program that would benefit workers who lost their jobs when Skyjack closed its doors.

“I’m here to report to you about the Trade Adjustment Assistance Grant program,” Elbert told the board members, “and Val Bonney, of Northwest Iowa Planning and Development, will fill you in on what is happening with the TAA program.”

Bonney reported that state officials determined that employees of Skyjack were eligible for the TAA program, which was designed to assist workers who lose their jobs when their firms transfer operations to other countries.

“Through the TAA grant, employees who are eligible can qualify for up to three years of college training to help them find new jobs,” Bonney said. “There were 147 employees at Skyjack as of July 1, 2008, and right now, 81 of those 147 have found full-time employment elsewhere.”

According to Elbert, the federal grant application for the TAA program would be due on April 20, and one requirement would be a $25,000 local match of funding for the federal dollars. “We already have $10,000 in soft match through programs and assistance,” but we will need to have a $15,000 actual cash match to complete the application.”

The board agreed to the idea, and discussed how to accomplish the $15,000 cash commitment. When told that the actual money would not be required until the grant was awarded, the board agreed to commit to the request and approved the filing of the federal application.

“Our goal here is to see re-employment for these folks from Skyjack in Palo Alto County,” Bonney noted.

“Your action is some very good news for the folks who lost their jobs at Skyjack,” Elbert told the board members.