(WKBN) – Every GM Lordstown worker has thought long and hard about their future in the last 24 hours. But, one person who was laid off from his job on Black Monday has some advice about what to do in this type of situation.
Bert Cene understands the pain felt by GM workers. He remembers reporting for his shift at Campbell Works in 1997 and being told it was closing, then wondering what to do next.
"The longer you wait, the harder it will be," he said.
Now, Cene is in charge of the Workforce Development Board for Mahoning and Columbiana counties.
Ohio got $850,000 when GM laid off its second shift. It opened a transition center at the UAW Local Union Hall, which is helping people learn about trade adjustment assistance and other options available to them.
Cene suggests getting an assessment of your skills from an Ohio Means Jobs center and starting to plan for the future.
"Even employees working now can visit Ohio Means Jobs centers and we can help them with what's available out there in positions in jobs but also what's available in retraining," he said.
That retraining can be done at numerous locations in the Valley.
MCCTC, Choffin Career and Technical Center, ETI Technical College, Eastern Gateway Community College and the New Castle School of Trades offer adult education programs and work closely with Ohio Means Jobs.
One big step for the workers is talking with the schools about what they could be doing next.
"As a recruiter, that's what I do. I invite people to come in, meet with me. We sit down and talk about career goals, where they see themselves in a few years and I help them choose a career path and a training program that's right for them," said Jodi Glass, an MCCTC adult recruiter.
And it can be more than technical training. Welding and skilled trades are available but so are culinary arts, medical assistant programs, practical nursing and medical office programs.
"One thing that's unique about the career center is we do offer programs that give people the ability to start over and it isn't a two-year commitment. Our programs can be completed in less than a year and they earn industry credentials that employers are looking for," Glass said.
Also, the Campbell Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center starts programs in the fall. It will be another resource to connect with in-demand employment.
JobsNOW is a joint initiative between WKBN and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.