Workforce Center Prepares For Cessna Layoffs

By: Stephanie Diffin Email
By: Stephanie Diffin Email

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September 21, 2010

Cessna's announcement regarding 700 layoffs comes after months of tapering unemployment in Wichita. The regional Workforce Center says it hasn't recorded layoffs in the hundreds for months, and didn't expect anymore bulk job cuts as a result of this recession. But now, the center's gearing up to assist hundreds who are about to need help finding jobs.

"It's draining emotionally, you know," said one Cessna worker who was recently called back to work after getting laid off months ago. "I had to make a whole lot of changes in my life and my family."

"You just do the best that you can. If that day comes, then just work through it and just try to find other employment, if that does happen," said another worker as he left Cessna Tuesday afternoon.

Finding other employment, is where Wichita's Workforce Center is jumping in to help. The center's rapid response team is already getting prepared for the pink slips to go out.

"Definitely when hundreds of people are laid off at one time, this resource center is very busy, very busy," said Kimbery Cronister, Communications Coordinator for the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas.

The impending layoffs aren't anything the center hasn't seen before, but these job cuts are coming unexpected to the center after months of signs of recovery.

"Our unemployment rates are going down. And so the 700 people that are getting ready to get laid off is really kind of a shock to us," said Cronister.

But workforce professionals will still be prepared to help with new employment, new training, or unemployment benefits. There's no word yet on when these layoffs will actually happen, but the workforce center says its rapid response team is already in the process of contacting Cessna to meet with laid-off workers.

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