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January 17, 2012 | last updated January 17, 2012 10:27 am

Laid-off Verso workers eligible for TAA aid

Workers laid off last fall from Verso Corp.'s Bucksport paper mill are now eligible for federal job-training benefits.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Friday that the workers can participate in the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which provides job placement and skills training services to workers who lost their jobs as a result of foreign competition, the Bangor Daily News reported. Verso in October shut down one of its paper machines and cut 125 jobs; about 75% of the affected workers took a voluntary severance package. Verso cited lagging demand for its decision to reduce its annual production capacity by 193,000 tons by shutting down the machine, as well as two in Minnesota.

Memphis-based Verso Paper Corp. lost between $33 million and $38 million in the fourth quarter, in part due to $52 million in charges related to shutting down those paper machines, according to the paper.

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