Dislocated Workers program helps laid off workers find jobs

By KBJR News 1

February 11, 2014 Updated Feb 11, 2014 at 11:02 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Nearly a year and a half ago Carl Huber was laid off from his job as a pharmacist due to a general downsizing in the industry.

Now Huber is one of a number of Northlanders lucky enough to find a new career through the Dislocated Workers program in Duluth.

"I was unemployed, looking for work for a couple months," said Corey Anderson, now a locksmith at Minnesota Locksmith in Duluth.

For Anderson, working as a locksmith was something he had no experience doing.

However, thanks to the Dislocated Workers program Anderson was given three months of on–the–job training and landed a job at Minnesota Locksmith.

"I was able to say here's what I can do, take a chance on me, and it worked," said Anderson.

Carl Huber lost his job during a downsizing in the pharmaceutical industry.

He sought a local career change, and was thankful that the Dislocated Workers program helped him make the career move he was looking for.

"It was all about networking and broadening my network and opening doors to go in and do informational interviews with people," said Huber.

The Workforce Development office in Duluth has been helping dislocated workers like Anderson and Huber gain employment through specific education.

"In some cases we can do on–the–job training where we provide a financial incentive to an employer to hire the individual and the person is learning the job while they are beginning their employment," said Don Hoag, manager at the Workforce Development Center in Duluth.

The workforce development division of the city receives public funding from the federal and state government to operate employment and training programs to benefit those who've been laid off permanently from their jobs.

Huber says the job market today is nothing like what it used to be...

"It's tough out there, and it's tough because it's very competitive," he said.

Which is why Huber says programs like these are so beneficial.

The current training budget for the workforce is about $100–thousand.

That funding ends in June but the Workforce Development office will kick off its new budget in July.

Elsa Robins