Udall, Heinrich, Luján Announce Trade Adjustment Assistance for New Mexicans Affected by Mine Closure in Questa
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) announced that the Department of Labor has granted Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers who lost their jobs when Chevron closed its molybdenum mine in Questa, N.M. The TAA will help former employees of the mine transition to new jobs by providing career training, employment services and other support.
Since Chevron closed the mine in Questa in 2014, the lawmakers have supported the mine workers’ application for TAA. TAA is available to workers who lose their jobs because of increased imports or because their jobs have been shipped overseas. Questa was previously ineligible for TAA but the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015, which was cosponsored by Udall and Heinrich in the Senate, and supported by Luján in the House, expanded eligibility, and the Questa miners were finally approved for TAA this year. The lawmakers have also worked with the Questa community and local officials to support other economic assistance grants this year.
"Layoffs in a small community like Questa have an enormous impact on families' well-being and the local economy, and these miners deserve our support to ensure they have access to the training they need to find a good job elsewhere in the area,” Udall said. “Trade Adjustment Assistance is a critical step to helping the Questa community rebuild its economy. Ensuring Questa miners and other workers receive these benefits will boost training and help make ends meet, and I will keep working with this resilient and unique community to further their economic recovery and development."
“This announcement is welcome news for families in Questa who are still recovering from the abrupt closure of the Chevron molybdenum mine,” Heinrich said. “Trade Adjustment Assistance will assist workers impacted by the closure with retraining and employment resources needed to reenter the workforce. I am pleased we were able to secure this support and will continue fighting to ensure workers are not left behind and have the tools they need to succeed in our economy.”
“The availability of Trade Adjustment Assistance for Questa residents impacted by the closure of the Chevron molybdenum mine will allow this small community to begin the long work of economic recovery,” said Luján. “These benefits will enable workers to be re-trained and re-enter the workforce. I am proud to have been part of the process of securing this much needed assistance for Questa and will continue to work to ensure New Mexican communities have access to the economic support they need.”