Job fair created for laid off East Texas workers - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Job fair created for laid off East Texas workers

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TYLER (KYTX) - East Texas workers laid off from places like Trane, Carrier, and Ezo Copper are getting back on their feet.

Workforce solutions in Tyler held an education fair specifically for these job seekers.

Seasonal layoffs at Trane have left hundreds out of work. By December, all 85 Jacksonville Ezo employees, and  400 Carrier workers will be jobless. Many have already been laid off. 

"24 and a half years."

That's how long Robbie Williamson worked at Carrier.

"For several years I was a production tester and then I went into assembly," Williamson says.

She felt abandoned after she was let go, but in the wake of it all, she's remained positive.

"I did enjoy working for Carrier, but I'm so excited about the future now!" she says.

That excitement is fueled by support. Companies and colleges all over the region put on an education job fair just for people like Williams, who have been laid off.

Former Trane employee Tasha Williams-Lacey was there looking for opportunities.

"It hurts a lot, to have a family you have to take care of," she says.

Williams-Lacey spent the last ten years working on the paint line for Trane. She was laid off in July, but is keeping her chin up.

"I have two kids so I have to set an example for them," she says.

Talking to employers today opened her eyes to new possibilities.

"Actually I might be interested welding!" she says. "It's not just for a man! It's for a woman too!"

So for Tasha, the future might be welding, and for Robbie, it's looking like college.

"I have some college and I would like to go ahead and further that and make a total career change," Williamson says.

The ladies and about 60 former coworkers are finally ready to re-learn, re-train, and move on.

"It doesn't matter your age, color, creed, you can do anything you want to do. I mean, you have help! All you have to do is take the first step," Williams-Lacey says.

From there, they say growth is inevitable.

Carrier and Ezo are both moving permanently to Mexico but Trane is sticking around. Its seasonal layoffs are actually common and a lot of times Trane will hire back those employees down the line. 

The educational fair brought more than 20 training institutions to Workforce Solutions. If you missed the fair, Workforce Solutions has contacts with these employers and it can help you. 
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