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Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) grant program evaluation
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Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program Information


Government Overview

Federal Trade Act: Statutes, Regulations, Directories and Guidances


U.S. Dept of Labor: Employment and Training Administration


Government Reports

There is a small positive and statistically significant relationship between program participation and sales. Overall, we estimate that the effect of participation in the program was an increase in firm sales, ranging from 5 to 6 percent on average, if all other factors are held constant.


As imports rose, sales declined for TAA for Firms clients. Our analysis shows that import penetration was highly statistically significant and most likely had a very negative effect on firm sales.


TAA for Firms participation combined with market growth increased firm performance. We found a statistically significant and positive effect of industry market growth on firm sales after firms participated in the program.


Our survey of TAA for Firms participants also showed that the program had a positive effect.

–United States Government Accountability Office, “TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE: Commerce Program Has Helped Manufacturing and Services Firms, but Measures, Data, and Funding Formula Could Be Enhanced,” Statement of J. Alfredo Gomez, Acting Director, International Affairs and Trade Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency, and Financial Management, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives.

Following completion of assistance from EDA’s TAAF program, firms reported that, on average, sales increased by 26.8 percent, employment increased by 13.2 percent, and productivity increased by 11.9 percent.

–Fiscal Year 2012, Annual Report to Congress, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, December 15, 2012.

For now, the current expansion of TAA to service-sector workers will help mitigate the harmful effects that advancements in communication and technology have brought in the form of global competition. However, policymakers must examine the stock of existing education and job training systems to ensure they are preparing American workers for the U.S. jobs of the future.

–“Trade Adjustment Assistance: Helping Workers Harmed by Global Competition In the Market for Services,” by the Chairman’s [Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.] Staff of the Joint Economic Committee, December 12, 2012


Research Reports

TAA led to increased receipt of reemployment services. According to survey data, more than 94 percent of TAA participants received at least one reemployment service, while 77 percent of comparison group members reported doing so.

Participation in TAA was associated with large increases in receipt of education and training and the attainment of educational credentials. Nearly 66 percent of TAA participants received training, compared to 27 percent of comparisons, and the average TAA participant spent about 8 times as many weeks in education and training as the average comparison group member (49 weeks, compared to 6 weeks).


Impacts of TAA on engagement in any productive activity were small. To a large degree, TAA participants engaged in training in the period just after job loss, in lieu of seeking and obtaining employment.


The main impact study findings used the comparison sample of UI claimants and showed that, in the final year of the follow-up period, TAA participants had lower earnings than the comparison group, but worked about the same number of weeks. As was hypothesized, during the first two years of the observation period, when many TAA participants were in training, the labor market outcomes for participants were significantly worse than for their matched comparison group members who were not eligible for TAA.


–“Estimated Impacts for Participants in the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program Under the 2002 Amendments,” Final Report Prepared as Part of the Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, August, 2012, Social Policy Research Associates and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

These findings on TAA eligible workers’ profiles, receipt of services, and experiences with the program can help guide policymakers in assessing and improving the implementation of the TAA program as the 2009 program amendments are put into place. As ARRA expands eligibility for TAA and increases the accessibility and flexibility of benefits, it may lead to greater rates of service receipt among eligible workers. Findings from this report suggest that the changes to HCTC and ATAA in particular may lead to increases in rates of application for these benefits by addressing some concerns that discouraged workers in our sample from applying.

–“National Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program: Characteristics of Workers Eligible Under the 2002 TAA Program and Their Early Program Experiences,” Final Report, April,2010, by Sarah Dolfin and Jillian Berk, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.


More Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. reports on TAA can be found here.

No Funding for FY 2011 Teaching American History Grant Applications

The Department of Education has decided not to fund any of Teaching American History (TAH) grant applications submitted in 2011. Instead, remaining funds will be used for continuation grants for some current TAH projects. An email was sent out last week:

Sent: Fri 5/27/2011 1:18 PM
Subject: 2011 Application For Grants Under the Teaching American History Program

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for your application to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Teaching American History (TAH) grant completion.   As you may be aware, funding for many Department of Education programs was decreased in the FY 2011 full-year continuing resolution.  As a result, there are sufficient funds only to support continuation grants for the TAH program to current grantees.  We, therefore, will not be making any new awards in FY 2011 for this program.

We appreciate your interest in this program and your support for improving the teaching of American history in our nation’s schools. We encourage you to access the TAH Web site, which lists all current grantees and provides abstracts for their projects.  These projects include a variety of strategies with activities that support high-quality professional development for history teachers.  That site may be accessed at

If you have further questions on the TAH program, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Peggi Zelinko
Teacher Quality Programs
Office of Innovation and Improvement
U.S. Department of Education

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has a taken another step towards eliminating the TAH program.

Read some of our previous posts on evaluation and the Teaching American History program:

The evaluation of the TAH program, George Washington, and lessons learned:

Teaching American History Grant Evaluation: Glenn Beck, the Center for American Progress and “No Evidence”? -Part III

TAH, evaluation, evidence, and how a Fox News analyst’s remarks criticizing the Teaching American History program were misleading at best:

Teaching American History Grant Evaluation: Glenn Beck, the Center for American Progress and “No Evidence”? -Part II

How Glenn Beck and the Center for American Progress have sparred over the Teaching American History program:

Teaching American History Grant Evaluation: Glenn Beck, the Center for American Progress and “No Evidence”? -Part I

Education Budget Details: Race to the Top and Teaching American History
Here is a pdf from the House Appropriations Committee of all the 2011 budget cuts.  Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog highlights:
It eliminates a number of education programs, including:

  • Educational Technology State Grants—$100 million.
  • Literacy Through School Libraries—$19 million.
  • Byrd Honors Scholarship Program—$42 million.

And it includes cuts to other education programs. For instance:

  • School Improvement Grants would be funded at $536 million, a $10 million cut.
  • Teaching American History would be cut by $73 million. The program is now financed at $119 million, so that’s pretty significant.
  • The GEARUP and TRIO college access programs also would be cut. GEARUP, which got $323 million in fiscal year 2010, would lose $20 million. And TRIO, which got $910 million last year, would lose $25 million.
More on Teaching American History from the National Coalition for History:
The Teaching American History Grants program sustained a cut of $73 million (-61%) down from $119 million in FY ’10 to $46 million. While this is disheartening, throughout the budget process House Republicans had repeatedly targeted the program for elimination. The Administration as well had zeroed out TAH for FY ’11 and proposed consolidating history education in a new Well Rounded Education program where it would have competed for funding with arts, music, foreign languages, civics, economics and other subjects.

So the fact that TAH survived at all is a major victory. Had the TAH program been eliminated it would have been nearly impossible to resuscitate it in the upcoming FY ’12 budget process and down the road in the pending reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

One question is whether the $46 million will be enough to fund new FY ’11 TAH grants. At a public forum earlier this year, Department of Education staff stated continuing grants would have priority in receiving FY ‘11 funding and any remaining funds would go to new grants.

In FY ‘08, the Education Department awarded three year TAH grants, but provided the option for the grantees to apply for additional funds for a fourth or fifth year. The FY ’08 grantees have been required to file detailed progress reports with the department and they are being evaluated to determine whether they merit additional funding.

The application deadline was April 4. However, there is no way of knowing yet how many FY ‘08 grantees applied for additional out-year funding and if they will qualify. As a result, given the limited amount of funds available, conceivably there could be no new TAH grants made this year.

Education Week’s Curriculum Matters blog says:
As for Teaching American History grants, which are extremely popular with many history educators—and are widely seen as helping them better understand the past and giving them new tools to teach about it—the funding would be reduced by $73 million. That said, given the current fiscal climate, the fact that the program apparently will remain intact is good news for its fans. If the money had been wiped away altogether, it might have been far more difficult, politically, to restart the history-grants program in future years.

Andrew Mink, the director of outreach and education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, told me this morning that there was a big push by educators, historians, and others to protect the Teaching American History grants program. (Mink has been involved with several grants in Virginia under the program.) And while he said it’s disappointing to see the big cut, he’s relieved that the program will continue.

“Once funding is [abolished], you can’t regenerate it,” he said. “Keeping some blood in it was absolutely a victory.”

See John Fea’s post as well on TAH.  Also from Education Week on RTT 2.0:
Race to the Top was a winner, getting $700 million for a one-year extension of the economic-stimulus program, which was to expire.

The bill isn’t clear on just how much of the money would go to new state grants and how much would go to early-learning grants. That means it would be up to the Education Department. From my reading of the bill, it sounds like the department could also combine the competitions if it so chose.

Under the original language that created Race to the Top, states were required to give half of their award to districts. But the bill would allow the department to waive that requirement for the new early-learning grants.

And before you get all excited about a new state K-12 competition, it’s also important to note that under the bill, the department could just pick new winners from among the states that had applied for the second round of Race to the Top, but lost out.