Week of employment sessions underway for laid-off Cargill employees

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by Shakara Robinson

MILWAUKEE -- Last month, about 600 Cargill employees were given a 72-hour notice that the Menomonee Valley plant they worked at would be closing for good. 

Most of these employees had been working for the company for several years. CBS 58 News caught up with Felix W.,  who worked for Cargill for 36 years. He, like many others, have no idea where to turn next.

"Sixty-one years old, who's going to hire somebody like me," Felix W. asked.  "I can't do heavy lifting anymore, my knee's bad, my  back's bad." 

State law requires the company to pay affected workers for 60 days. City leaders say they know that's not enough, and say they refuse to leave so many people without a job.

"Whether you've been there a year, or six years, or 36 years, we know that this is a setback for the workers," Mayor Tom Barrett said.

The mayor announced a "rapid number of  meetings" designed to get the employees new jobs.  Monday and Wednesday, August 11 and 13, the state Department of Workforce Development and City of Milwaukee will hold orientation at Serb Hall on S. 51st and Oklahoma Avenue.  

Those events will lead up to a closed session job fair at Serb Hall, exclusively for Cargill workers affected by the plant's closing, on Thursday, August 14. 

Those unable to attend should call the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board at (414) 385-6920.  They'll help set you up with appointments this month to find new work.

Orientation sessions: Monday & Wednesday, August 11 & 13 at Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Closed Session Job Fair: Thursday, August 14 at Serb Hall.

Rapid Response Team Meetings: August 15, 19 & 21 at HIRE Center, 27th & North Avenue, Milwaukee.

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