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TAA TRAINING PROVIDER OVERVIEW

The Program
The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program is a federal entitlement program that assists U.S. workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade. This program seeks to provide adversely affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support necessary to become reemployed. A key benefit of this program includes paid job training.

Funding for the Trade program is provided by the US Department of Labor and is administered by the states. The Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) is the administrator for Connecticut.

Training Plan Development
Each TAA participant works with an assigned a career counselor from their local American Job Center to guide them through the process and develop an appropriate training plan. Once a plan is developed, the participant will need to obtain program and financial information from the training provider. This information will be documented on form JS-52 Training Proposal for Provider. It includes information such as the type, duration and estimated costs of training.

Training should be of the shortest period needed to achieve the desired results, but in no case can training exceed 130 weeks. Program information should be supplied by academic advisors, deans, or other school officials knowledgeable about the specific program requirements. The financial estimates should be provided by fiscal staff or someone knowledgeable and authorized to provide such information.

The information gathered will be used to develop the service agreement between the training institution and the CTDOL. Although these are just estimates at a specific point in time and the actual expenses may vary, it is very important to have the most complete and accurate figures upfront as possible. Large variances between estimated and actual dollars makes it difficult to account for and reconcile participant training budgets and can be very time consuming to resolve for all parties involved.

In addition to the JS-52 form, you will be given other forms (also located on our Forms Page) that will be needed at various stages and include the following:

  • Individual Course Outline: This form is used to break out the training program by specific time periods (semesters, trimesters, summer, etc.), required and elective courses and the number of credits required to complete. This form also includes benchmark periods that will be completed by the TAA counselor and is not meant for the training provider.

  • JS-52B – Training Progress and Attendance: It will be necessary to obtain information from the training provider, such as test scores, grades, instructor attestations and attendance reports at regular intervals to measure the student’s performance against pre-established benchmarks.

  • Agency Vendor Form (SP-26) and Taxpayer Identification Form (W-9): If new to doing business with the CTDOL, you will be required to fill out these forms in order to invoice and receive payment for services rendered. (An invoice may be submitted prior to the start of training; however, the earliest payment can be made for training related expenses, including tuition, is on the first day of classes).

Once a training plan is approved and a provider selected, approval letters will be sent to both the student and provider. The provider letter will identify the specific terms of the agreement and invoicing instructions.

Approval Process
There are six criteria that must be met in order for the CTDOL to approve a request for training. The TAA Central Office Administration Unit in Wethersfield is responsible for issuing approvals or denials.

The six criteria of approval are as follows:

(1) There is no suitable employment available for an adversely affected worker.
(2) The worker would benefit from appropriate training.
(3) There is a reasonable expectation of employment following completion of such training.
(4) Training reasonably available to the worker from either governmental agencies or
      private sources.
(5) The worker is qualified to undertake and complete such training.
(6) Such training is suitable for the worker and available at a reasonable cost.

Financial Information

The TAA program prohibits TAA trainees from directly or indirectly contributing towards the cost of training. This means that all training related expenses are paid on behalf of the trainee directly to the provider by the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL), via third party billing.

TAA clients must be approved before training begins and are not permitted to pay for training related expenses with personal funds.

Federal Student Financial Assistance: Any federal financial aid the participant is eligible for must be paid directly to the participant while attending TAA approved training. The participant may use Federal student financial assistance for other expenses, as allowable under applicable rules for such financial assistance.

Upon the approval of a Trade Act training program and if applicable, any payments of Federal student financial assistance must cease to be applied to the training participant's tuition or other training-related costs covered by TAA Program funds. Any remaining Federal financial aid must be paid directly to the participant while attending TAA approved training.

If payments of Federal student financial assistance or other training allowances from other Federal funding sources were made to the training provider instead of the worker and were applied towards the worker's approved training costs, the State must deduct the amount of those other payments from the amount of TAA Program funds payable to the training provider in order to prevent duplication in the payment of training costs. However, if possible, the financial assistance applied toward approved training costs should be refunded to the participant by the training provider and subsequently paid by the TAA program.

Invoicing: Once an invoice is received and approved by the TAA Administration Unit, it is passed on to our Business Management Unit for payment.

To expedite payment, we strongly recommend signing up for electronic direct deposit (ACH) instead of paper checks. Vendors participating in direct deposit will also be enrolled in Vendor Self-Serve (VSS), which allows vendors to check on outstanding invoices, confirm payment information, review address information, or reconcile accounts receivable. Through electronic banking, funds will be automatically transferred to your financial institution the evening you see them as PAID in VSS. This allows you to utilize those funds on the very next business day after the payment is processed through the Comptroller’s Office. The link to find out more and enroll is: https://www.osc.ct.gov/vendor/directdeposit.html.

Please note, as a State agency, CTDOL is exempt from paying Connecticut sales and use taxes on the purchase of property and services.

Release of Educational Information: When a training plan is approved, we ask the participant to sign a consent form allowing the training provider to disclose information related to their academic records to the Connecticut Department of Labor. This information is used for the purposes of federal program monitoring requirements.

In cases where we do not have the consent form, we ask your cooperation in obtaining this information, based on the following:

The Department recognizes that under the FERPA Act and regulations (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

•  School officials with legitimate educational interest;
•  Other schools to which a student is transferring;
•  Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
•  Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
•  Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
•  Accrediting organizations;
•  To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
•  Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
•  State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Given that the Connecticut Department of Labor, TAA program, has provided all or a substantial portion of financial aid in the form of payment of tuition and fees on behalf of the TAA participant, accordingly the Department falls within the above exception of “an appropriate party in connection with financial aid to a student”, and submit that we may receive the requested information, without prior consent of the student (TAA participant).

Information requested may include:

•  Attendance records
•  Grades, transcripts, report cards, progress reports
•  Credentials earned, including copies of diplomas, degrees and certifications
•  Financial records

If you have questions or additional assistance is needed, you may speak with the client’s counselor who made the referral to you, or you may contact the TAA Administration Unit at: (860) 263-6070, Fax (860) 263-6631.

CTDOL TAA Web: https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/TradeAct

US Department of Labor TAA Web: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/tradeact

 

 

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