Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 8, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Secretary Newson Announces Steps the State is Taking to Assist Workers

Affected by Closure of Cargill Beef Processing Plant

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today announced steps that DWD and its regional workforce partners are taking to assist workers affected by the recent closure of the Cargill beef processing operations in Milwaukee.

On July 30, DWD received a notice from Cargill that it was ceasing operations at its beef harvest facility, effective August 1, affecting approximately 588 workers. The notice stated that Cargill would keep the workers on payroll, providing them wages and benefits, through September 28, 2014, in keeping with state law requiring notice 60 days in advance of a business closing or mass layoff.

“We moved quickly to assist the affected workers and their families," Secretary Newson said. "We are pleased that Cargill has agreed to keep the workers on its payroll through September 28, and we are working closely with Cargill and our partners at the Milwaukee HIRE Center to assist these workers. Fortunately, dozens of employers are stepping forward to fill openings and we will continue to work with Cargill and other stakeholders to help affected workers pursue new opportunities."

Secretary Newson said Cargill is holding a job fair for the workers at American Serb Hall on Thursday, August 14, and DWD's dislocated worker and job service staff have assisted in registering approximately 40 employers for the event for the Cargill workers only. Other employers have expressed interest in taking part as well. Prior to the job fair, DWD and its Milwaukee HIRE Center partners are holding Rapid Response orientation sessions to explain programs and services available to them, such as unemployment insurance benefits, job search assistance and potential job training opportunities.

Affected workers can also contact their local Job Center to inquire about services by visiting www.wisconsinjobcenter.org/directory or toll-free at 1-888-258-9966. The Rapid Response services are part of the DWD-administered Dislocated Worker Program, which serves workers who become dislocated when a business cuts positions or ceases operations entirely. The goal is to help them find work at new jobs that pay as well or better than their previous employment. Services include training assistance to improve existing skills or provide new job skills for a different occupation.

For more information about Rapid Response services: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dislocatedworker/pdf/fact_sheet.pdf

The state Business (Plant) Closing and Mass Layoff Law states that, with certain exceptions, employers with 50 or more workers must provide notice 60 days in advance of when 25 or more employees are affected by a business closing or 25 percent of the workforce is affected by a mass layoff.

For more information about the state and federal laws requiring notice of plant closings and mass layoffs: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dislocatedworker/employer/tools/notice/wbcml_overview.htm

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