AIDT provides resources, job connections, for workers dislocated by COVID-19

Updated: Apr. 9, 2020 at 6:22 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Labor reported it processed more than 90,000 unemployment claims in the last two weeks of March.

Alabama’s Industrial and Development Training department is trying to figure out the best way to help the workers as well as companies.

It’s launched a new Facebook page to connect those workers who have been dislocated by COVID-19 with companies that are HIRING NOW. This is the page that serves Central Alabama. It’s operated by Alabama Works, a statewide resource network to recruit, train, and empower a highly skilled workforce in order to grow Alabama’s economy.

“So we are trying to be there for them in operating this new landscape, whether it’s in helping them to put processes in place for their shut down, as well as preparing them for opening back up. We are helping companies with repurposing their manufacturing abilities, you know. They were making cars and now they’re going to be making respirators,” explained Jacquie Allen, the Assistant Director of Communications and External Affairs at AIDT. “So we’re just trying to work together along with all of our partners. You know, the community college system, the Department of Labor, Department of Rehabilitation, rehabilitative services, we’re all trying to work together in order to help our companies and our citizens being a good place once this is over.”

With everyone making adjustments, many companies are making changes. Allen mentioned one company just starting out was supposed to be getting on board in the next three months but is speeding that up to within the next couple of weeks because it manufactures gloves.

AIDT is taking many steps to keep workers trained and connected to jobs safely.

“We would have smaller classes, where, of course, PPE would be utilized. And also they would be situated, you know, within six feet apart from each other in order to do those classes,” Allen said. “Because in order to get some of these companies that are in production, to manufacture the things that we need, you know, the PPE gloves, I wear respirators, they, we are going to have to get some people trained to do that.”

Allen is clear, AIDT is not closed during this pandemic. It’s staying busy keeping workers ready for what comes after the coronavirus pandemic.

"There are a lot of people who have lost their jobs. And those jobs may or may not be available for them when we do go back, full steam ahead. So one of the things that we are trying to put into place is some additional training and even education to prepare these people and arm them with a new skill set for the abundance of jobs that will be available once we get back on board. Because you know, we can almost guarantee you there's going to be a plethora of positions, they just may be different than what they were doing before, " said Allen.

“There are tons of resources for companies as well as citizens, to help them with things are connected with things such as how to file for unemployment, small business loans, things of that nature. As I mentioned earlier, we’re working very closely with our partners with the Department of Labor, with the community college system, and all of our other partner agencies,” Allen described the Alabama Works website. "So It could be sort of a one stop shop, you go there and you’d be able to find information on whatever CDC standards, any type of resources from the Department of rehab, and all of our colleges, even our organizations, such as Manufacturer Alabama, that work very closely with our industry, we are cultivating all that information and pooling all those resources together.

AIDT also holds a live webinar every week. It's hosted by the Alabama Workforce Council every Tuesday, covering a variety of topics.

"And they’ll talk about what’s new, what’s being worked on how people can apply for different things. But then we also allow people to submit questions. And you can see it live on Facebook every Tuesday at 4 p.m. or from the Alabama Works website.

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