Team to address Rubbermaid layoffs

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Wanted: Jobs for 99 workers who will be laid off from the Rubbermaid plant in Jackson this summer.

That's the goal of Missouri's Rapid Response Team. The team includes representatives from the Department of Economic Development and the Division of Employment Security and the not-for-profit Workforce Investment Board of Southeast Missouri. Two other groups -- the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Girardeau Area Industrial Recruitment Association -- also are aiding the job replacement effort.

The team will provide career counseling, assistance in resume writing and interview skills, on-the-job training and tuition assistance for vocational training or education, state economic development officials said.

Team members will hold meetings with the affected workers at the plant on Monday and Tuesday.

Mitch Robinson, executive director of the industrial recruitment association, and Jackson chamber officials are helping organize a job fair that will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at South Elementary School in Jackson.

The fair will include 30 computer lab stations where affected workers will be able to register on the state's new job-matching Web site,

"It is very important that they get registered as quickly as possible," said June O'Dell, manager of special projects for the Workforce Investment Board. O'Dell said she and others would be at the job fair to help workers register online.

At the time the layoffs were announced in late June, Rubbermaid had 665 employees at its Jackson plant. The facility makes wood and metal closet organizers that it distributes to various retail outlets and housing developers.

The layoffs involve production, warehouse and distribution staff, as well as a few administrative positions, Robinson said.

Robinson said six manufacturers from Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Chester, Ill., Perryville, Mo., and Chaffee, Mo., are scheduled to have representatives at the job fair. Several companies that manage and market temporary employees are expected to attend.

335-6611, extension 123

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