Local mayors make promises to former Erwin Hymer employees
After hundreds were terminated on Friday from local manufacturer Erwin Hymer Group, the former employees are wondering what comes next.
“I have two children to support as a single parent,” said former employee Samantha Wagner. “I’ll do what I have to do.”
Wagner says she saw the writing on the wall, but the news that Erwin Hymer Group was shutting down their North America operations was still devastating.
“Why did we waste our time that whole week?” She said. “They just fed us full of that false hope just to pull the rug out from underneath us.”
Kitchener mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Cambridge mayor Kathryn McGarry have both said they will do everything they can to help the workers and families transition.
The two have spoken with the Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. They have asked the province to activate its rapid re-employment team to help those affected.
“This will be good news for some of the manufacturers in our region that have been looking for good, solid, well-trained employees,” said McGarry, adding there is some silver lining in this development.
“There will definitely be a couple of job action centres and we’ll work with training colleges and universities to make sure that they’re up and running,” said Ton LaMantia of the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation.
He adds that the region is familiar to large job losses.
“A lot of displaced Blackberry employees started new companies and are in senior roles across the region and around the world,” said LaMantia. “The world didn’t end.”
Wagner says she and former employees have been rallying together, working on their resumes, and getting through this transition.
“The silver lining for me is I met my best friend there, and now my partner,” she said.
Job action centres are expected to be up and running in the near future. No locations have been determined yet.