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Agrati workers in Valparaiso qualify for trade adjustment benefits
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Agrati workers in Valparaiso qualify for trade adjustment benefits

Agrati workers qualify for trade adjustment benefits like wage subsidies and health care assistance

Agrati in Valparaiso laid of workers last year.

Displaced Agrati workers in Valparaiso now qualify for federal benefits like income support, wage subsidies and job training through a federal program that helps those hurt by international trade.

Agrati, an auto parts supplier, makes bolts, nuts, screws, washers, rivets and other fasteners for vehicles at 4001 Redbow Drive in Valparaiso. The company warned the state it would lay off more than 50 workers last April, including at least nine permanent job losses.

CEO Ashi Uppal wrote in a letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that even more layoffs might follow because of the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainly over what long-term impact it would have on the business.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development decided on Jan. 23 that any Agrati workers laid off between June 10, 2019, and Jan. 23, 2023, are eligible for federal benefits and services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The U.S. Department of Labor program helps factory workers who have lost jobs because of adverse effects of foreign trade to get back on their feet.

Any displaced workers can apply for the benefits at the nearest WorkOne office, including in Gary, Hammond, Portage, LaPorte and Rensselaer. They may receive benefits such as 100% of job training costs, IRS tax credits of up to 72.5% for monthly health care premiums, up to 130 weeks of income-support payments, and reimbursement of up to 90% of travel costs during a job search or if they have to relocate to find a new job that pays as much.

Workers who are at least 50 years old also can get wage subsidies of up to $10,000.

For more information, visit www.in.gov/dwd/taa/, call 317-914-7323 or email TradeActPetitions@dwd.IN.gov.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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