Sikorsky Re-Employment Talks

People from all levels of government are coming together to help the nearly 600 workers being laid off at Sikorsky.

Sikorsky Re-Employment Options

September 28, 2012

Big Flats (WENY) - People from all levels of government are coming together to help the nearly 600 workers being laid off at Sikorsky. Today Company reps met with federal, state, and local agencies to construct a re-employment plan for all of them. Dan Porter is the Executive Director of CSS Workforce New York, but for the next few weeks he's working as part of the New York State Rapid Re-employment Response Team, helping workers laid off by Sikorsky find work.

     “Is this all make believe? I think in the community now there are some people that think this isn't real a little bit of shock.. It does seem to be really happening,” says Porter.

     For a lot of people and their families, being laid off is really happening. Over the past year the unemployment rate around the area has increased. In Elmira the unemployment rate in august 2011 was 7.5 percent, this august its 9.1 percent.

      “This is really going to be a huge issue,” Says Elmira Mayor Sue Skidmore. “And a huge problem for the county specifically here in the city, Big Flats, and Horseheads area, where these people live.”

     Today Sikorsky company reps met with local agencies and the states Rapid Response Re-employment team to come up with a plan to give help to all of the employees.

     “Both the company and the union are both positive and engaged and they're supporting us to get in and help,” says Porter “It's great because not every company does that some companies just wash their hands and walk away so I really commend the Sikorsky Corporation and their union for staying engaged on this.”

      Some workers will qualify for the Federal Trade Adjustment Act It's a program that offers transitional support, which includes,training allowances, relocating expenses, and access to low cost health care like COBRA. The talks are still in their infancy and specifics still need to be determined, but Porter says today was a good start.

     “There’s a lot of little dominos that you have to get set up before you can push them over and the dominos are coming together very quickly.”

     Once reemployment package details that will be offered to employees by the Rapid Response team is hammered out orientations with small groups will start sometime in October.