Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Retaining talent is top priority, additional resources pursued for Navistar employees
Mayor Tom Henry and Kathleen Randolph, President and CEO of WorkOne Northeast, today detailed expanded efforts to marshal resources that would give Navistar employees career options and reasons to stay in the Fort Wayne area.
“While we are still determined to show Navistar that Fort Wayne is a place where the company can build for the future, we are more determined than ever to retain Navistar’s highly skilled employees,” said Mayor Henry. “It is our mission to show them that there are opportunities for them right here should they choose to stay. They are an exceptional community asset. We are united in our fight for good jobs and our talented workforce.”
Both the City of Fort Wayne and WorkOne Northeast want every Navistar employee to know that there is a strong commitment to finding resources to support their efforts to enhance workforce skills and find new employment in northeast Indiana.
“Every Navistar employee is valuable to our region,” stated Randolph. “WorkOne Northeast will make sure that we have the resources to assist every person seeking our assistance.”
In addition to the customized recruitment and placement website and the training scholarship fund announced recently, with the full support of the City, WorkOne Northeast officials are exploring additional strategies to aid Navistar workers. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) resources, a federal training program that assists employees who are displaced as a result of foreign or import competition, are being actively pursued.
The goal of the TAA program is to help trade-affected individuals access services, most notably training grants, to help them secure new employment as quickly as possible at comparable wages. If approved for the TAA program, Navistar workers could be eligible for 130 weeks or more of training assistance and income support.
The process for TAA approval begins with a petition by Navistar workers to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The request can be submitted by the company, the union or a group of workers. To ensure that a request is submitted, WorkOne Northeast will be exploring all three options. Upon application, the DOL has 60 days to determine whether Navistar employees will be approved for TAA services.
In the past 18 months, employees from 19 different companies in northeast Indiana have been approved for the TAA program. In aggregate, this program represents more than an $8 million commitment of training support for individuals in this region.
Beyond the attempt to secure TAA certification, action is underway to capture additional funds from other sources as well. Talent Initiative funds will be utilized to support Navistar workers who desire training. These monies are already available to WorkOne Northeast and have been used to help capitalize the $100,000 scholarship fund that is now available to Navistar engineers. Moreover, additional state and federal grants are being investigated to provide funding for Navistar employees in the areas of training and reemployment services.
In an update on previous activities, Mayor Henry and Randolph also noted that Navistar employees have begun to use the customized website designed especially to provide them with training assistance and virtual recruitment and placement services.
“To date, a number of Navistar engineers have reached out to WorkOne and communicated their interest in securing new employment that will keep them in the area,” observed Randolph. “This is precisely what we were hoping to see. WorkOne Northeast is now committed to reviewing these resumes with interested employers in an effort to support and retain these outstanding workers.”
The City and WorkOne Northeast along with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and other local and regional organizations are part of a team working together to advance economic development in our corner of Indiana and to support Navistar’s local employees.