Time is running out for laid off Ormet workers, who are coming to the end of their unemployment benefits. An emergency training session was held Thursday at the United Steelworkers' Union Hall in Clarington, Ohio.
They came in, a few at a time, registered, and were asked, "how can we help you? What are you looking for?"
The short answer was a job.
Two hundred of the nearly 1,000 Ormet workers will see their benefits run out in about two weeks. These were the workers with more seniority who took preferential layoffs to allow the younger workers to stay on the job.
Soon they will have no money coming in. Colleges, technical schools, and the Monroe County "Ohio Means Jobs" agency were on hand, set up at different stations around the room, to talk to the workers about skills, going back to school, crafting a resume, applying for a job online or on paper.
They were urged to watch a video listing jobs in the area and how to apply. They were told how to get access to a food pantry, and even given a few groceries to tide them over.
In the meantime, all hope is still not lost for the aluminum maker to re-open. Many feel it still hinges on Governor John Kasich.
Meanwhile, the union has scheduled a "food and relief drive" Feb. 21 and 22, with assistance in everything from health insurance to tax returns to mental health counseling.
For more information, call the Union Hall at (740) 458-1345.