More than 300 photo voltaic staff laid off this summer time following a latest surge of U.S. photovoltaic (PV) panel imports could also be eligible for federal entitlement, together with revenue assist and allowances, the Department of Labor (DOL) has decided.

In petitions for Trade Adjustment Assistance filed with the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration by laid-off photo voltaic employees in 2016, Hillsboro, Oregon–based mostly SolarWorld Americas mentioned it was “struggling to stay aggressive towards sponsored and dumped value competitors of merchandise imported from China.”

In an announcement on October 12, SolarWorld, the biggest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar-technology producer, lauded the DOL’s motion. “The determination implies that lots of the impacted staff could also be eligible to faucet federal help with job placement; bills for job searches, relocation and retraining; revenue assist throughout full-time retraining; and a tax credit score on health-insurance premiums,” SolarWorld mentioned.

The firm additionally mentioned that the willpower additional confirmed a unanimous discovering made by the U.S. International Trade Commission on September 22 that PV cells being imported into the U.S. are inflicting “critical harm, or menace of significant harm, to the home trade.”

The ITC’s determination was made in a extremely contested case filed by bankrupt photo voltaic panel producer, Suniva, and SolarWorld, which advisable vital tariffs on all foreign-made modules. The ITC is now working to find out tips on how to deal with the harm.

However, almost each different firm within the U.S. photo voltaic trade has rallied towards SolarWorld and Suniva. The Solar Energy Industries Association and representatives from a number of main photo voltaic firms argue that the tariffs would cripple the U.S. photo voltaic trade.

The DOL’s  Trade Adjustment Assistance program, established by the Trade Act of 1974, offers help to employees who’ve misplaced, or could lose their jobs, on account of international commerce. The program primarily seeks to supply troubled employees with revenue assist, allowances, and alternatives to acquire expertise and credentials to turn into re-employed.

During fiscal 12 months 2016, an estimated 127,000 employees have been lined by an authorized petition for help, and 44% cited a shift in manufacturing to a international nation as a foundation of certification. About 19% cited a shift in providers to a international nation as a foundation of certification.

About 66% of those employees have been from the manufacturing sector, about 6% from “administrative and assist and waste administration and remediation providers,” and 6% from “skilled, scientific, and technical providers.”

On October 12, Juergen Stein, CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas, mentioned the corporate is grateful for the “federal support” that might assist its former employees regain employment footing.

He additionally added: “We are also heartened that yet one more federal company has confirmed our rivalry concerning the function of imports in these layoffs.”


—Sonal Patel is a POWER affiliate editor (@sonalcpatel, @POWERmagazine)


The submit Labor Department: Solar Workers Laid Off by Import Surge Eligible for Aid appeared first on POWER Magazine.

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