According to information recently provided by the International Association of Machinists Local 2379 to Alcoa employees, a number of opportunities to assist in their re-employment will be provided to the over 450 workers expecting to be laid off in the coming months.
Re-employment orientations (spouses and partners are invited)
These are planned for every Thursday and Friday in January (except New Year’s Day) at Intalco Totem Terrace. This is an opportunity to speak face-to-face with
- unemployment insurance professionals to learn how much will be received and how it is paid out.
- Employment and retraining specialists to learn about job coaching, transferable skills, paid tuition, tools, relocation assistance, the Trade Act, earn-while-you-learn, veterans programs and more.
- College advisors to learn how to get started in a local training program to build occupational skills. Learn how to get started, ways to pay, things to think about now.
Career exploration workshops
These are planned for late January and into February (times and locations TBD). Workforce system professionals will help assess skills and map out a plan for next job or career.
Education and community resources fair
This will be held February 18th at the Pioneer Pavilion Community Center in Ferndale. Attendees will be able to explore training opportunities for new careers and how to pay for it and connect with community providers that can assist the employee and their family while transitioning to a new job or school.
WorkSource Whatcom Career Fair
This will be held February 23rd at St Luke’s Community Health Center in Bellingham. Alcoa workers and their families will receive VIP entrance times so they can meet with employers who have expressed interest in hiring from the Alcoa workforce.
Also, Bellingham Technical College has setup 12 drop-in sessions in January and February exclusively for Intalco employees. Workers can drop-in during these set times to get help with registration, financial aid, learn about retraining programs and get questions answered. Times and locations have been provided to the workers.
While a petition for Trade Act program assistance was made in November, no acknowledgment has been given yet indicating workers will be eligible to receive the financial assistance it can provide. Under the Trade Act, certified, trade-impacted workers may receive training and relocation assistance if needed to accept a job offer in another location. In addition, income support, a health coverage tax credit and weekly income support when their unemployment benefits are exhausted may also be available to eligible workers.