Help Coming Soon For Laid Off Workers

By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email
By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email

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Friday, January 30, 2009

It's a financial lifeline for laid off workers that's been open three times before. The last time was just after the economic downturn following September 11th. Now the one-stop shop will open once again.

"The city must come in and help these peopleout. There are no other options," said Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.

The City of Wichita and the United Way are stepping in and joining together as the area's aviation business makes deep cuts. The latest, 4,000 Cessna employees given notice on Thursday.

"We want to make it as easy as we can for people in a tough time," said United Way of the Plains President Pat Hanrahan.

The Laid Off Worker Help Center will connect families with a case worker to figure out what financial needs they have.

Help could include setting up a payment plan for utility bills, getting money to help make house payments or rent or getting groceries through the food warehouse.

The goal is to help keep out-of-work families from having to go on the welfare system and aid in searching for new jobs.

As for when laid off workers can start using the new center, it wil likely be late spring or early summer. The United Way still has to find a place to house it and the people to run it.

"The timing is always tricky. The temptation is to start right away but some of the layoffs have yet to occur. We want to time the center to peak at the time it will be needed the most when a lot of the income to families stops we want to be there," said Hanrahan.

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