Assistance with getting back into the Valley workforce

FRESNO, Calif.

Knowing your company is about to close is a stressful situation and many employees don't know where to turn. Another plant announces its closing its doors, leaving 1,000 jobs behind.

It doesn't matter if it's a huge manufacturer like Del Monte or a women's dress shop in Manchester Mall, for the employees it feels the same.

Losing a job is not a new experience for 31-year-old Rebekah Gillespie. Sadly, this mother of two has been through a lay-off before.

Gillespie said, "For a while I was selling my personal belongings just to pay the rent, so we would have a roof over my head."

Rebekah is hopeful she won't have to take such drastic measures this time; she and her co-workers are getting help navigating their job loss.

Tamico Thomas heads up the Workforce Investment Boards Rapid Response Team. Companies that are laying-off employees work with Thomas to help make the process less traumatic.

Thomas said, "Our main goal is to make them aware of the resources because without knowing what's available you can't make good decisions on moving to the next step or transitioning to new employment."

All the agencies that can help people going through a job-loss come together under one-roof. The Employment Development Office helps them apply for unemployment benefits, and gets credit counselors to help them budget their shrinking resources and save their credit or house. They also help with where to get help with their utility bills and most importantly, they are told about the one-stop shop centers where they get help looking for a new job.

Workforce Connection Representative Blanca Bonilla said, "They can also enroll in staff assisted services and get help writing the resume, resume workshop, networking workshops, vocational training programs."

Rebekah admits this was the first time hearing about many of these services and she's hopeful this lay-off won't be so stressful.

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