Home » Bay County EDA, CareerSource Gulf Coast help mill workers find jobs – WJHG

Bay County EDA, CareerSource Gulf Coast help mill workers find jobs – WJHG

by Arifa Rana

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -On Wednesday the Bay County Economic Development Alliance held its monthly meeting. The first topic of discussion, how do we help the soon-to-be unemployed WestRock Paper Mill workers?
“Obviously our main objective is to work with the displaced employees to help them find employment so they can stay in Bay County,” Becca Hardin, Bay County EDA president.
Hardin also said during the meeting that one company reached out to her directly and stated they had 200 openings.
Working alongside the EDA is the executive director of CareerSource Gulf Coast, Kim Bodine. Bodine told NewsChannel 7 she also had previously assisted employees at the Port St. Joe Paper Mill when it closed.
“What we found is the first thing we need to do is try to get a handle on what the needs of the workers are,” Bodine said. “So WestRock is working closely with us we have a meeting with management today”
As part of a rapid response, Bodine said they have all kinds of programs available for those employed at the mill.
“We can refer them to services for financial management, How to deal with insurance as you leave a company. As well as skills and training we can provide scholarships for them where we pay for their books and tuition and a training stipend potentially,” Bodine said.
There is also on-the-job training where Bodine says they pay the company for the training.
“They were not expecting this and neither were we but we are happy to share with them a lot of things we can do to help the transition,” Bodine said.
Workers will fill out a survey and Bodine said they will tailor the programs based on their needs.
Copyright 2022 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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