JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Jessica Lani Rich, middle, president of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, oversaw loading of 120 air mattresses for stranded passengers at Honolulu Airport yesterday.
Statewide sessions to offer assistance
The state's rapid-response team will hold informational sessions statewide tomorrow to address looming issues for affected employees such as job readiness training, medical benefits, public assistance and job search assistance.
Meanwhile, some Aloha Airlines employees filed for unemployment yesterday at claim offices on the neighbor islands and in Waipahu, while some filed claims via the state's automated phone system, according to James Hardway, spokesman of the Department of the Labor and Industrial Relations. Exact figures were not available of how many Aloha Airlines employees filed for unemployment yesterday.
The state's rapid-response team is composed of staff from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations' Workforce Development Division and Unemployment Insurance Division, Department of Human Resources and Development, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Department of Human Services and Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Hawaiian Home Lands officials are expected to provide financial information to homesteaders.
"The positive thing about the Aloha Airlines employees, they're highly skilled, highly motivated ...," Hardway said.
Tim Flournoy, a retired 31-year pilot of Aloha Airlines, said he plans to join his wife, Lianne, a 41-year flight attendant with the company, at an Association of Flight Attendants meeting today where inquiries from displaced flight attendants were likely to be addressed by union representatives. "There's a lot of answers we don't know," Flournoy said.
Some 1,900 former Aloha employees are looking for work.
Resources for unemployed
Informational meetings will be held statewide by the state rapid-response team tomorrow:
Oahu: Sheraton Hotels & Resort. Three sessions to be held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Honolulu Suite, 2255 Kalakaua Ave. There is a maximum of 450 people per session. Officials suggested that employees with last names starting with A-L attend the 10 a.m. session and employees with last names starting with M-Z attend 2 p.m. session.
A 6 p.m. session will be open to anyone who missed the earlier sessions. The last session of the day will accept up to 450 people. (808) 931-8111.
Maui: Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa. Two sessions to be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Haleakala Room, 3850 Wailea Alanui Drive. (808) 875-1234
Kona: Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Two sessions to be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Mauka Ballroom, 62-100 Kaunaoa Drive, Kohala Coast. (808) 880-1111
Kauai: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. Two sessions to be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Kauai Ballroom 1 & 6, 1571 Poipu Road. (808) 742-1234
Hilo: Big Island Workplace Connection. Two sessions to be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., 1990 Kinoole St., Suite 102. (808) 981-2860
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director's Office:
Unemployment Insurance Tele-Claim: (808) 643-5555
Unemployment Insurance Weekly Filing: (808) 643-2222
Unemployment Insurance Toll Free: (877) 215-5793
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Event aims to offer safe landing for jobless
The city and several local businesses will hold a job fair April 9, open to the 1,900 Aloha Airlines employees who lost their jobs Monday.
The event, sponsored by several agencies including the city, First Hawaiian Bank and unions, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Neal Blaisdell Center exhibition hall, a news release said.
"Putting 1,900 people on the unemployment rolls, particularly as the U.S. economy is slowing, could have a ripple effect on our economy," Mayor Mufi Hannemann said in the release. "I'm also very gratified that we're seeing this outstanding island-style response to helping folks in need."
Other organizations collaborating on this event include the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Transport Workers Union, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Airline Pilots Association and Society for Human Resource Management's Hawaii Chapter.
In addition, Leeward Community College plans a job fair for April 10 with dozens of companies, organizations and government agencies participating. The "Career, College & Job Fair" is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to the public.