Limestone sign workers receive aid

Posted May 13, 2009, at 8:20 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.

LIMESTONE, Maine — Workers from a Limestone sign company who were furloughed indefinitely in March are now eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance.

In March, The Pattison Sign Group idled its plant at the Loring Commerce Centre and furloughed approximately 50 employees.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine’s 2nd District announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Labor has determined that Pattison workers are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance.

Trade Adjustment Assistance helps workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or a shift of production outside of the United States. TAA provides trade-affected workers with re-employment services and benefits to help them find new jobs.

A Labor Department investigation indicated that the employment decline was due to a shift in production to Canada, which is party to a free trade agreement with the U.S.

The company manufactures a large number of signs for banks and auto dealerships, both of which are struggling in the recession.

“While nothing can replace having a job, this is welcome news at a time when so many families are struggling to make ends meet during this economic downturn,” Michaud said in a written statement. “Trade Adjustment Assistance will help these workers get back on their feet by providing them with important skills assessment, training and job search assistance.”

Pattison Sign Group is the largest on-premises sign and visual communication company in Canada and second-largest in North America, according to its Web site. The company has five manufacturing facilities in North America.

The company has had a manufacturing site at Loring Commerce since 2004.

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