Dept. of Labor to aid laid-off Norfolk Southern employees in job hunt

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Norfolk Southern workers had a support session Tuesday afternoon about available resources for finding their next job.

Earlier in the month, Norfolk Southern furloughed 86 employees working in the mechanical department at their locomotive shop in Juniata.

Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor came to the Transport Workers Union Local 2017 hall to offer their assistance. Those who were furloughed had the opportunity to learn about applying outside the area from other labor unions.

The union hall is located at 302 E. Wopsononock Avenue. Department of Labor’s Rapid Response Services provided a hand in running this session. This service handles the Rapid Response program, which is free to employees regardless of layoff reasoning. This service offers workers affected by a large layoff with resources to help them find a new job or get further training and education.

Workers walked away from the session with knowledge about budgeting and financing, education tips, and job search help. The Rapid Response Service allows workers to turn their layoffs into opportunities. Workers through this service have access to the PA CareerLink systems.

When discussing the sudden furloughs, spokesperson for Norfolk Southern Jeff Degraff said, “We appreciate the hard work and commitment of all the men and women on the Thoroughbred Team and will work with furloughed employees on opportunities to apply for open positions,” in a statement.

The furloughs in Juniata came five months after Norfolk Southern announced 85 new positions would be opening or transferring to Altoona after closing operations at a locomotive shop in Virginia.

More than 50 workers were in attendance for the event. Those who were unable to make the event can reach out to a local Rapid Response Service supervisor.

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