Local News

Rapid Response program helps displaced workers

Posted March 9, 2009 11:40 p.m. EDT
Updated March 10, 2009 7:46 a.m. EDT

— A Raleigh-based program is helping employees get back on their feet when their jobs are going away. The Capital Area JobLink Career Center is part of a Rapid Response Team that visits companies that are downsizing due to the economy.

Companies can request that Rapid Response members hold an information session for displaced workers, who then get information on job openings, COBRA health insurance, resume assistance and job training.

Fowler Contracting, 5520 Dillard Drive in Cary, is closing its site development and construction company due to a decline in the housing market. The April closing will affect 246 employees.

Clemmis Futrell has worked for the company for 23 years, operating heavy equipment.

"We'll it's going to hurt because of the insurance. I'm 62 years old, and my wife is not able to work,” Futrell said.

Nearly 100 Fowler Contracting workers attended Monday's Rapid Response information session at the Wake County Commons Office Building, 4011 Carya Drive in Raleigh.

"I found out we needed a job, and then found out we were going to have a baby,” said Terry Brown, Fowler Contracting employee.

Like many people in attendance, Brown said he needs a job now. He has a 5-year-old child in addition to the baby that's on the way.

He needs to "feed the family, do what ever it takes to feed the family,” Brown said.

The Rapid Response program has a partnership with Wake Tech Community College, the state Employment Security Commission and Wake County Human Services to help displaced workers, like Brown, get the services they need to find employment.

For more information on the Rapid Response program, call 919-856-6040.