The shocking news of Erie Coke closing its doors left its employees without jobs and full of unanswered questions. Today, those workers are getting some of the questions answered.
Today, at the UE 506 building on Main Street, several organizations offered assistance to those laid off workers. Those workers say they were thrown into a very stressful situation but are glad for the hrelp.
“I still have bills to pay,” said Ian Runiewicz, former Erie Coke Worker. “It’s just the holidays are stressful as it is, then to add this into it, it makes it real stressful.”
“I know a lot of guys are living paycheck to paycheck,” said Dave DeHaven, former Erie Coke worker. “Our bills, our rent, car payments, and what not It’s really hitting us hard.”
But these workers do have options. Inside, laid off Erie Coke workers are getting help. For instance, they got this Pennsylvania CareerLink packet, which includes information about unemployment compensation and about trade adjustment assistance also known as TAA.
“They got the whole run of services in there trying to help us navigate show us new health insurance, new jobs, new training,” said John Donovan, former Erie Coke worker. “If you need help writing a resume, they got a very capable group of people helping out.”
Todd Cleary with the United Steel Workers says that they are trying to get the laid off workers back on their feet as soon as possible.
“I have had several companies that the steelworkers deal with in Erie and in Meadville and the Mercer community area that have reached out to me and that they can use some of these workers.” Cleary said.
He says the next step is to get them signed up for unemployment. Then, send out their resumes to these companies. There are even some jobs that can be filled right away.
“We have had four or five businesses last night and early this morning that have reached out directly to me saying that we have openings.”said Chris Groner, Department of Economic of Community Development. Groner also said that of those businesses that have reached out to him, some of them have upt to 109 jobs that needed to be filled immediately.