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Maui Sugar Workers Eligible For Federal Assistance

Flickr / tavarua
Flickr / tavarua
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Flickr / Allie_Caulfield
Credit Flickr / Allie_Caulfield
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Federal money is on the way to employees at Hawai‘i’s last sugar plantation. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced that the 685 Maui workers who will lose their jobs at the end of this year will qualify for financial help. Benefits include up to $2,000 a month, free tuition and books and other job training support. Schatz says the federal money is in addition to already existing state benefits for unemployment.

"This means that workers are going to have the money to help their families and make ends meet," said Schatz. "It also means that they're going to be able to go to Maui college, or a similar school of their choice, sign up for classes and learn new skills. The expenses for all of that will be covered. This is good news for the workers and for Maui and I'm going to continue to see what else may be available in the form of federal assistance for the people of Maui and the economy of Maui."

The additional funding comes from a federal program called Trade Adjustment Assistance, which helps provide benefits to workers who lose their jobs from negative effects of foreign trade. And it’s not just displaced HC&S workers that can apply, any businesses that is negatively impacted by the plantation closure can seek assistance. Layoffs at HC&S have already begun, with the first 88 workers let go earlier this month.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon joined HPR in May 2012 as an intern for the morning talk show The Conversation. She has since worn a variety of hats around the station, doing everything from board operator to producer.
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