The sudden and unfortunate layoff Tuesday, November 22, of 1,000 United/Lane employees shook the area. The Community Development Foundation (CDF) responded quickly and started planning a regional job fair to create immediate job opportunities for those affected to restart their careers and provide for their families.
With the help of partners such as the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, Itawamba Community College, and Three Rivers Planning & Development District, CDF hosted two regional job fairs within the first three weeks following the layoff announcement. Both events had over 40 local companies participate in each job fair.
The two job fairs registered over 940 participants, with approximately 600 displaced United/Lane workers attending. As a result, through contact with employers offering new jobs, it is estimated that over 500 United/Lane workers have found new employment opportunities within the local economy.
The Tupelo/Lee County community also generously responded to the needs of its displaced neighbors, friends, and families. Through business, individual, and community organization donors, the CREATE Foundation was able to establish an assistance relief fund. During the job fairs, over $55,000 of these donated funds provided direct and immediate financial assistance to over 600 displaced workers. Good Samaritan Health Services and Tree of Life Clinic provided connections to their community services. Furthermore, CREATE Foundation partnered with United Way to launch an online portal for additional and ongoing assistance for workers who have not found new employment.
“CDF continues to monitor and work with our partners to address the needs of this group and all those who may have lost jobs because of the changing economy,” said CDF President/CEO David Rumbarger.
The mission of the Community Development Foundation is to create more and better jobs for the Tupelo/Lee County area.