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Laid-off airline workers offered career training


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POSTED: Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The thousands of workers laid off after the shutdown of ATA and Aloha airlines last spring soon will get more help planning and training for new careers.

The city said yesterday it will use a $1.4 million federal grant to provide career planning, counseling, re-training and re-employment services to the workers laid off by the airlines in April.

“;This is an ideal opportunity for these workers to learn new skills for career advancement and be competitive in the labor market,”; Mayor Mufi Hannemann said in a statement. “;These services are provided at no cost to qualified participants. Federal funds are limited and people should take advantage of the opportunity while these resources are available.”;

Since the shutdowns, the city said it has been helping find employment for these workers by providing training and sponsoring job fairs. More than 40 employees also have been hired by the city.

Hannemann said he recognizes that many others are still seeking employment. These workers qualify for full tuition assistance at public and private schools to pursue careers in high-demand occupations. For those who are not currently working, there is no income eligibility. Those who are working qualify if they are receiving less than 90 percent of their former airline wages or their income is below the self-sufficiency threshold of $38,590 a year. The release of funds for pilot training is still pending.

About 190 workers already have enrolled under another grant to upgrade their skills. About 40 training providers including universities, community colleges and private schools, offer full-time and part-time courses and programs islandwide.

Career planning, job search assistance and re-employment services also are available to all former airline workers at no cost. About 200 people have attended job-search workshops and job clubs to polish their interviewing skills, update their resumes and share job hunting experiences.

Interested former airline employees should call Dillingham Oahu WorkLinks at 843-0733 or Waianae Oahu WorkLinks at 696-7067.