On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor approved a petition for federal aid that will provide millions of dollars in federal funding for displaced workers at the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S).

This is the first time that Hawaii sugar plantation workers displaced by foreign trade will receive these funds.

“This is great news for these workers and for Maui,” said Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). “For these workers, this federal money means they have additional financial support to make ends meet and an opportunity to gain new skills and find a new job."

The funds will provide compensation to help replace lost wages. It will also cover the expenses for job retraining, including tuition, books, and transportation. 

The amount workers will receive depends on individual circumstances. However, workers may be able to access up to $2,000 a month in direct cash support for an additional year or longer while they are retrained to find a new job.

The new federal funding will provide additional support for HC&S workers on top of already existing state benefits that they are entitled to receive. In addition, workers at companies that are impacted by HC&S’s closure may also be eligible for the same benefits and the companies may be eligible for business consulting services.

Displaced HC&S workers who have questions on accessing federal relief can contact their local Workforce Development Division One-Stop Office at (808) 984-2091. For more information on the benefits for HC&S workers through TAA, please click here.