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Schatz: Federal Assistance Will Cover All Displaced HC&S Workers

Funding Includes Income Replacement, Job Training and Expenses

HONOLULU – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that all displaced Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S) employees are now eligible to receive federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). This funding will provide compensation to help replace lost wages, cover expenses for job training as well as allow workers to begin training while still employed.

“This funding will help ensure that all HC&S workers make the transition to new jobs,” said Senator Schatz. “Ever since learning of HC&S’s plans to close its sugar operation on Maui, I have been working with Secretary Tom Perez to ensure that these workers would receive the federal assistance they need. Losing a job can have a devastating impact on a family and I’m very glad we were able to find funding to help provide some relief.”

The USDOL originally allocated federal assistance for a portion of displaced HC&S workers, but will now cover all displaced employees. This funding will benefit roughly 350 workers in need of training in order to reenter the workforce. The amount of assistance a worker will receive depends on individual circumstances, but workers may access up to $2,000 a month for an additional year or longer while retraining for a new job.

Senator Schatz worked closely with the USDOL and determined that HC&S’s workers are eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The TAA program provides benefits to eligible workers who lost their jobs due to the adverse effects of foreign trade. Senator Schatz has also cosponsored legislation to reauthorize the worker aid program.

This new federal funding will provide support for HC&S workers on top of already existing state benefits that they are eligible to receive. Displaced HC&S workers who have questions on accessing federal relief can contact their local Workforce Development Division One-Stop Office at (808) 984-2091.