Help for Dell employees left jobless
There are now several efforts underway to help 1,100 laid off Dell employees find new jobs.
The computer giant announced the layoffs at a meeting Wednesday morning where 500 people were laid off effective immediately and another 600 people are expected to lose their jobs this summer.
The company says it will retain about 100 Ottawa employees working in sales and research.
Although Dell offered employees severance packages that many workers call generous, the company will also help their former employees hunt for new jobs.
A spokesperson for Ottawa's Dell office says the company's been flooded with calls from other firms looking to hire the laid off employees. Now, they're trying to figure out the best way to bring laid off workers and potential employers together.
Layoffs could help other firms looking for employees
A spokesperson for an Ottawa employment agency says the layoffs will likely be an unexpected boon for other companies on the hunt for new employees.
David Weedmark of the AIM Group's IT Services Division says the federal government has recently been hampered by a shortage of skilled workers. He added many senior contract workers who could have filled those positions were lured away from otherwise lucrative government contracts to work for Dell.
AIM says it hopes to attract the attention of former Dell employees by its recent presence on Facebook, a social networking website.
"Ads have been targeted specifically to Dell employees living in Ottawa," Weedmark said. "We want to encourage anyone who is facing a job loss to get their resumes out as soon as possible. The last thing anyone wants is to find (out) a position they would have qualified for, has already been filled."
Websites for those on the job hunt
There are now several online sites aimed at helping the newfound job seekers.
- Ottawa Centre for Research and Information job finder
- Pronexus career opportunities
- AIM Group job listings
Dell news hits the legislature
Meanwhile, the news that Dell will close its Ottawa call centre was a hot topic at the Ontario legislature on Thursday.
Although the province is planning to send in a team to assess what kind of help it can offer, both the Tories and the NDP say the situation is another example of how the Liberals fail to look after Ontario's industry.
Nepean-Carleton Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod drew attention to a comment made on CTV News by a former chair of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation on Wednesday night.
"We are not getting our fair share. The McGuinty government really hurt venture Capital two years ago when they arbitrarily killed labour sponsored funds. We really haven't seen any money because of that," Debbie Weinstein told CTV News.
"True our companies need to perform better but the government's got to step in and help."
The Ontario Finance Minister dismissed the comment, though, and said the Liberals are doing their part by providing retraining programs and other forms of assistance to Ottawa and other cities across the province.
Retraining, however, has been widely criticized by labour leaders who say the program would only benefit 20,000 people every year, a number that is far from the 200,000 workers who lost their jobs in the province's manufacturing sector last year.
With a report from CTV's Paul Brent