Questionnaire for Participant Firms of the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) Program

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Contents

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Introduction



The following survey will ask you to consider your experience working with the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC), the consultants that carried out your firm's projects, and the effect that the matching funds and assistance from the TAAC had on your firm. The questions are intended to gauge the impact that the program had on your firm, and to give participating firms an opportunity to give feedback on what is good about the program and what needs improvement. GAO will use the results of this survey to report to Congress about the effectiveness of the TAAF program. When responding, you may consult with others who are also familiar with this topic if you think it will help you give a more accurate answer. To assist you in consulting with others, you may print the survey before completing it on line by following the instructions below.

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Outreach And TAA Center Services Received

In this section, we would like to ask about how you found out about the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC) and about the Adjustment Proposal (AP) that you received.

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1. How did you learn of the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program?

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1. How did you hear about the TAA program?

Reasons Count
I was referred by a state or local organization 21
I was referred by a vendor or consultant 15
The TAA Center reached out to me 13
Another company 10
A trade publication or another type of publication 7
Personal referral 6
Through an online/web search 6
Colleague/Business partner/Employee 4
I was referred by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership 3
The TAA Center projects had already started when I arrived 3
Don't recall 1

2.Did the TAAC initiate contact with your firm?

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Yes
No
Don't Know, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
24.8 66.7 8.5 117

3. How satisfied or dissatisfied were you with the TAAC's outreach activities?

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
93.1 6.9 0.0 0.0 29

Why were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the outreach process?

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3B. Why were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the outreach process?

Reasons Count
The TAA Center was helpful and knowledgeable 7
The TAA Center was professional, timely, and easy to work with 6
The TAA Center reached out to me 6
The TAA Center cared about my needs and provided good customer support 3
Good communication 3
Helped generate business/Helped my firm stay in business 2
We received funding 2

4. How satisfied or dissatisfied were you with the following aspects of the TAAC's services?

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a. Timeliness of service

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
93.1 3.4 1.7 1.7 116

b. Guided my firm through the eligibility/certification requirements for the program

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
95.7 1.7 0.0 2.6 116

c. Expectation setting for the amount of funding my firm would receive

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
89.7 6.0 1.7 2.6 117

d. Assessment of my firm's situation

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
94.0 4.3 0.0 1.7 116

e. Mentoring

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
85.8 5.3 0.9 8.0 113

f. Feasibility of projects recommended by TAAC

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
85.5 6.0 2.6 6.0 117

g. Reasonableness of fees, if charged

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
69.0 7.8 2.6 20.7 116

If you were satisfied with any of the items in #Q4, why?

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If you were satisfied with any of the items in Q#4, why?

Reasons Count
The TAA Center was helpful/attentive to my needs/guided my business through the process/easy to work with 30
The TAA Center was professional/timely/quick to respond 17
The TAA Center helped my business 7
The TAA Center staff were knowledgeable 7
The TAA Center did a good job 4
I had good communication with the TAA Center 3

If you were dissatisfied with any of the items in question 4, why?

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If you were dissatisfied with any of the items in Q4, why?

Reasons Count
Funding was limited 2
The TAA Center did not recommend projects, that was done by consultant 1
The TAA Center did not understand my business 1
The TAA Center did not adequately explain what the funds could be used for 1
There were delays in executing contracts and paying vendors 1

5. Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied were you with the services you received from the TAAC?

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Very Satisfied

Generally Satisfied

As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
Very Dissatisfied

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % % % %
74.1 18.1 5.2 0.9 0.0 1.7 116

6. How much did the Adjustment Proposal (AP) that you developed with the TAAC help your firm to identify...?

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a. import competition

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
28.4 26.7 15.5 29.3 116

b. domestic competition

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
20.9 34.8 16.5 27.8 115

c. management weaknesses

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
23.3 38.8 12.1 25.9 116

d. potential business process improvements

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
51.3 31.6 5.1 12.0 117

e. projects my firm could undertake to improve business

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
66.1 22.6 3.5 7.8 115

f. other items or issues (specify below)

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
12.2 6.1 2.4 79.3 82

What were the other items or issues?

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What were the other items or issues?

Reasons Count
Business process/software/web site improvements were helpful 11
Sales/marketing assistance was helpful 3
Identifying consultants was helpful 2
Funding for projects was helpful 1
Lack of funding for my projects was not helpful 1
Delays in processing payments to consultants were not helpful 1

7. After your Adjustment Proposal was approved, did you implement any of the projects recommended by the TAAC?

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Yes
No
Don't Know, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
85.5 6.0 8.5 117

Implementation Phase

Next, we would like to ask some questions about the actual projects that you received matching funds to complete.

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8. Did you undertake the following types of projects with the TAAF funding that you received?

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a. financial (for example: accounting systems upgrade)

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Yes

No

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
27.3 61.4 11.4 88

b. management (for example: strategic business planning)

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Yes

No

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
37.1 52.8 10.1 89

c. marketing/sales (for example: website design and upgrade)

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Yes

No

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
84.6 11.0 4.4 91

d. production (for example: lean manufacturing and certification)

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Yes

No

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
59.1 36.6 4.3 93

e. support systems (for example: management information systems upgrades)

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Yes

No

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
58.4 36.0 5.6 89

f. other types of projects (specify below)

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Yes

No

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
33.9 28.8 37.3 59

What were the other types of projects?

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What were the other types of projects?

Reasons Count
Product Improvement/New product development 8
New software 5
Website improvement 4
Certifications 4
Equipment improvement 2
Process improvement 1

9. Based on your overall experiences with the consultants from the TAAF program, how satisfied or dissatisfied were you with the following aspects of their services?

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a. Expertise in their field

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
93.9 2.0 0.0 4.1 98

b. Ability to communicate their knowledge effectively

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
93.9 3.0 0.0 3.0 99

c. Understanding of your firm's particular needs

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
93.9 3.1 0.0 3.1 98

d. Timeliness (appointments, follow-up, completion)

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
92.8 3.1 1.0 3.1 97

e. Providing deliverables outlined in the project proposal

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
92.6 3.2 0.0 4.2 95

f. Usefulness of final recommendations

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Very Satisfied
and Generally Satisfied
As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
and Very Dissatisfied
Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
90.4 4.3 0.0 5.3 94

If you were satisfied with any of the items in #Q9, why?

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If you were satisfied with any of the items in #Q9, why?

Reasons Count
They were easy to work with/kept me on track/helped me through the process 17
Professional/Knowledgeable approach 11
They were attentive to my needs/responded to me in a timely manner 10
I can see the results from their services 8
The consultant's work met my needs 6
The consultant understood my situation 2

If you were dissatisfied with any of the items in #Q9, why?

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If you were dissatisfied with any of the items in #Q9, why?

Reasons Count
Timeliness of results 1
Limited funds 1
Staff turnover 1

10. Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied were you with the consultant(s)?

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Very Satisfied

Generally Satisfied

As Satisfied as
Dissatisfied
Generally Dissatisfied
Very Dissatisfied

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % % % %
76.8 19.2 1.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 99

Outcomes

Finally, we would like to ask you about the effect that the TAAF program had in helping your business.

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11. How much did the TAAF program help to improve ?

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a. operational planning

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
32.0 30.9 10.3 26.8 97

b. strategic planning

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
35.1 26.8 8.2 29.9 97

c. cost management

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
26.0 29.2 10.4 34.4 96

d. management practices

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
25.3 38.9 6.3 29.5 95

e. manufacturing processes

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
48.4 10.5 12.6 28.4 95

f. marketing/sales

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
58.6 25.3 4.0 12.1 99

g. export sales

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
9.5 24.2 18.9 47.4 95

h. profitability

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
35.8 36.8 11.6 15.8 95

12. How much did the TAAF program help your firm to ..?

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a. stay in business

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
43.3 39.2 8.2 9.3 97

b. develop new products

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
30.5 28.4 16.8 24.2 95

c. hire new employees

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
24.2 32.6 22.1 21.1 95

d. retain employees

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
38.1 33.0 11.3 17.5 97

e. other way (specify below)

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Helped a Lot

Helped a Little

Didn't Help

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % % %
19.7 3.3 3.3 73.8 61

What other way did the TAAF program help your firm?

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What other way did the TAAF program help your firm?

Reasons Count
Helped with business/sales/marketing 8
System or status upgrades 6
Helped with certification or lean manufacturing 4
My firm survived because of the assistance 3
Helped with export sales 2
Helped with foreign competition 2
Helped with production/processes 2

13.Would you have implemented any of the projects without the assistance and matching funds your firm received from the TAAF program?

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Yes

No

Don't Know, Not
Applicable, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
19.0 57.8 23.3 116

14. Have you received funding or other kinds of assistance from any other federal or state programs?

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Yes
No
Don't Know, No
Response
Number of respondents
% % %
25.2 64.3 10.4 115

15. From where did you receive additional state or federal funding assistance?

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15. From where did you receive additional state or federal funding assistance?

Reasons Count
State source of funding 17
Federal source of funding 5
County source of funding 2

16. Any other comments about program's performance, improvements that you'd like to share?

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16. Any other comments about program's performance,improvement that you'd like to share?

Reasons Count
Program helped my business grow/improve 22
Funds were limited/want additional funding/change reimbursement process 9
Improve communication regarding availability of funding 4
Program is efficient/thanks to the TAA Centers or Center Staff 4
Make TAA funds available for capital improvement 2
Program should focus more on increasing export sales 1
Increase government investment in manufacturing 1
I had difficulty finding projects for consultants to do 1
Funds helped me get projects finished more quickly 1
I have not used the funds yet 1
I wish the TAA Center knew more about my industry 1
The program needs more exposure 1

IMPORTANT: Please continue to the next screen to submit your final responses to GAO.

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Submit Your Final Responses to GAO

17.Are you ready to submit your final completed survey to GAO?
(This is equivalent to mailing a completed paper survey to us. It tells us that your answers are official and final.)

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Yes, my survey
is complete
No, my survey is
not yet complete
Number of respondents
% %
100.0 0.0 117

You may view and print your completed survey by clicking on the Summary link in the menu to the left.

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