WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) announced that the U.S. Department of Labor awarded access to Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers at Intel's Rio Rancho facility who have been partially or completely laid off as a result of downsizing. Employees at the fabrication facility in New Mexico have been impacted by the company’s global restructuring, which has led to decreased local production and increased imports of computer microchips. The Trade Adjustment Assistance will help former employees transition to new jobs by providing career training, employment services and other support.
The lawmakers have worked with county and Rio Rancho officials to offer support to the local community, which has been economically affected by the layoffs. TAA will provide training and assistance that will help these workers soon regain employment and qualify for high skilled jobs and other good jobs in the area.
"Intel has been an important part of the Rio Rancho community for more than 30 years and layoffs have an enormous impact on families' well-being and the local economy," Udall said. "It's critical to ensure these workers get the training they need to find a good job elsewhere in the community, and this Trade Adjustment Assistance will help them get back on their feet. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I'm proud to fight for programs that help workers train for new careers. There are opportunities in New Mexico, especially at our national labs. Last year, I secured a promise from the lab directors to work to create opportunities to ensure that Intel employees can learn about and apply for openings at the labs, and I will hold the lab management to that promise."
"Our friends and neighbors in Rio Rancho have been impacted significantly by the layoffs at Intel over the last few years,” said Heinrich. “I am proud to fight for resources like this that ensure our families and the community in Rio Rancho have the opportunity and training they need to move forward.”
“While I am saddened by the impact these layoffs have had on workers and their families in Rio Rancho, I am relieved that they will be eligible for assistance through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program,” said Luján. “TAA provides opportunities to obtain the skills, resources, and support they deserve as they seek new employment.”
TAA is available to workers who lose their jobs because of increased imports or because their jobs have been shipped overseas. TAA benefits are funded by Congress and administered through the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. Now that Intel employees have been approved for assistance, covered workers are able to apply for benefits including employment services, weekly income support payments, wage insurance and health coverage tax credits.