By Susan Worden, Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance


During my 20 years in the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance, I can attest that one of the greatest challenges for the TAA Program is that of successfully maximizing outreach. If we can’t successfully communicate what the program is and how it operates, we fall short in serving the folks that the program is designed to serve. What makes it such a tough nut to crack is that the program itself is so very complicated – and complicated at multiple levels. In order to be truly effective, state administration of the TAA Program requires getting creative in finding accessible ways to educate and communicate with the public about the program - including company officials, potentially eligible workers, and other stakeholders - that the program exists AND that it is in their best interest to learn about it. In that vein, please find below some ideas and resources that can support material development for effective outreach tools using video and other dynamic content.

Historically, many states have taken to using videos as a way to educate different audiences on what the TAA Program is, how to apply on behalf of worker groups and on an individual level, what the program benefits are, and how it helps folks (often through personal success stories). OTAA has started a common resource of state-developed TAA videos, which are available at as a resource.  See the link in the "Related Content" section.  Please take advantage of this collection to review what has already been developed by your peers; feel free to steal material and ideas; and take the time to review what’s out there in order to plan effective content that could work for your state. If you have videos you would like to see added to the list, let us know!

To support increasingly relevant discussions of dynamic digital strategies for outreach, OTAA is launching a video blog series for developing dynamic content for TAA Outreach. In the coming weeks, look for blogs from several states for sharing video-based outreach strategies. The blogs in this series will include information regarding the different platforms that are used to leverage the videos as well as the documented views.

In addition to leveraging videos through multiple public facing channels, don’t forget to share with partner workforce program in a manner that will maximize the value of your videos. For example, if you have a video focused on educating employers about the TAA Program, its benefits, or on understanding Trade impact, be sure to share it with your Rapid Response partners in the state so that you get the highest bang of the buck!

As it is related, I’m inserting a highly promising practice shared in a recent blog from Indiana regarding two separate strategies for a (1) firm that had completely closed and (2) a company that remained open.  (See link in "Related Content.") These strategies relied on social media applications such as Facebook and Instagram to make a wide audience of that was geographically related to the respective worksites about the TAA Program!

Although not highlighted here, please don’t be shy about exploring other platforms for communicating in a “live” format, including webinars, screen sharing, streaming and other virtual communication channels that may be available to you. And if you already have notable and distinct successes with these tools, please make a comment and start a dialogue. We can also include your feedback in TAA Community resources.

Thank you for applying your creativity, problem solving skills, and passion to serve TAA workers. They rely on state programs to operate in the most challenging of circumstances – we deeply appreciate your partnership with ETA to serve them in this time of changing demands!