Fire Victims Can Pay for Electrical Vocational Training at I-TAP with Government Disaster Benefits
THE CALIFORNIA AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS OFFER EDUCATIONAL FUNDING FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS DUE TO DISASTER
November 13, 2017
The wildfires that recently swept through Napa County and much of Central California took a devastating toll, killing more than 40 people and destroying more than 5,700 structures.
Unfortunately, many of those structures were businesses located in Napa’s wine country. Nearly 50 wineries were damaged by the fire, and some were completely destroyed, including Paradise Ridge Winery, Signorello Estate, and Hilton Sonoma.
But wineries were not the only businesses lost. Sweet T’s Restaurant & Bar, Cricklewood Restaurant, and the historic Stornetta Dairy were all destroyed, as were a number of chain restaurants and stores.
The unfortunate reality is that it’s going to take years for the area to recover, and many businesses will never reopen. But the area’s residents still need jobs to support their families and pay their bills. Thankfully, employment assistance is available.
The EDD is offering Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to Napa and Sonoma County residents or employees that lost their jobs in these areas, which can be used to pay for electrical training at I-TAP.
In 1974, Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) was created by the U.S. government through the Trade Act. TAA was originally established to provide financial support to American workers who lost their jobs due to their employers moving overseas. The program was subsequently modernized by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002, expanding it so that it applied in a variety of other circumstances.
TAA aid is now being made available to California residents who lost their jobs as a result of the fires. Under the program, you may be eligible to receive a stipend, but perhaps more importantly, if you’re interested in changing careers, you may be eligible to have the entirety of your education costs covered.
Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance is also available to California fire victims, but you must apply for aid by NOVEMBER 16!
In addition, there may be other programs that you are eligible for, such as assistance through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA), and FEMA disaster assistance. Also, you may be eligible for traditional unemployment benefits.
Before November 16, 2017, you may also apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance if you have exhausted your unemployment benefits or are not eligible for such benefits. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has created a page specifically to provide guidance to Central California fire victims on how to access DUA benefits. You can also download this guide in a convenient PDF. Again, keep in mind that you must file your DUA application by November 16th.
There are many sources of financial assistance that can help you get back up on your feet and start finding work. I-TAP would love to have the opportunity to work with you to make the most of your funding assistance. Becoming a journeyman electrician is an excellent way of establishing yourself in an exciting, growing trade that pays well and offers you the opportunity to help rebuild your community.
The easiest way to find employment assistance is to visit your local Department of Labor-sponsored career center.
In Napa, this is Workforce Napa, which is located at 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Building A. You can reach them by phone at 707-253-4134. Their hours are currently listed as 8 to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, but expanded hours are available on certain days in the wake of the Napa fires. Call their office for more information.
For those in nearby Sonoma County, please inquire at Sonoma County Job Link, which is located at 2227 Capricorn Way, Suite 100, Santa Rosa, CA 94507. They can be reached by phone at 707-565-5550. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 PM.
For those who live outside of Sonoma and Napa, CareerOneStop.org is the Department of Labor’s resource center for employment assistance and training. To find your local employment center, visit their site here and enter your zip code.
If you’ve been affected by the California fires, we know that you’re likely overwhelmed, and our thoughts are with you. While it’s perfectly understandable to feel hopeless, please know that help is out there for you. Right now, these resource centers are working overtime to help connect people just like you with financial and educational assistance.
We have a great deal of experience in helping students obtain job benefits through the EDD. If you’re struggling to get the help you need, we can help you get the assistance you need to start your electrical training. Head down to your local office and start applying for assistance, and then give I-TAP a call and find out how we can help you start a promising new career as a commercial electrician!
Ready to learn a skilled trade and work on some of the most exciting commercial construction projects in California and beyond?
I-TAP is an electrical apprenticeship program that helps you find your passion, grow your skills, and place you in the perfect electrician job.