Family Says Trade Act will Make Transition from Mill Much Easier - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Family Says Trade Act will Make Transition from Mill Much Easier

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Yakima, WA -  Mill workers are calling trade act certification an early Christmas present.

"This is our living room where our furniture used to be," says Dan Hall, a laid off mill worker from the Yakima Resources Plywood Mill.

Dan and Donna Hall had to sell their living room furniture and two motorcycles, all in an effort to keep their home.

"It's a big change.  You don't know how much you have until you lose it all," says Donna Hall, Dan's wife who was also laid off.

Dan was a front-end loader for 14-years.  Donna was a core-patcher for six.  Together, they made 35-dollars an hour, but for the last several months, they have been scraping by on unemployment.  That changed with a phone call yesterday afternoon

"And I basically screamed in the phone in his ear," says Donna, when she heard the news from their WorkSource counselor that they were certified for the trade act.

The Halls had planned to go into debt to pay off their education.  Now they're going to receive financial assistance for two years and a health care tax credit to help with medical costs.

 "It's financial stability. We won't have to worry about student loans," says Dan Hall.

All that they have to worry about now is homework.  Dan is studying to become an electrician at Perry Tech.  Donna will enroll in January to study graphic design.

"We had a job that was there. Now we have a choice. What we wanna do," says Dan.