About 18,000 former Hostess employees are eligible to apply to the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
The U.S. Department of Labor has determined that workers from 864 former Hostess company locations may receive benefits and services from the program, which helps some workers whose jobs have been eliminated. The company operated three plants in Kansas and Missouri.
Hostess workers who qualify will be reached by their state workforce agency.
The program offers case management and re-employment services, occupational retraining and income support for workers enrolled in approved retraining. Some workers also may receive job search and relocation allowances.
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Also, the department said, former Hostess workers who are 50 or older may receive help from a separate Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
If the participant gets new employment for less than $50,000 a year and less than what was earned at Hostess, the re-employment program calls for paying 50 percent of the difference between the old wage and the new wage, up to $10,000 over two years.
The Labor Department said Hostess employees are eligible for the assistance programs because an investigation found that increased imports of baked products “contributed importantly to the company’s sales declines and worker separations.”