77 employees to be laid off as Racine JCPenney store closes in April 2015

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RACINE (WITI) — The Department of Workforce Development has announced it has received notification the Racine JCPenny store will be closing in April 2015.

Approximately 77 JCPenny associates, of which 46 are considered full-time employees, employed at the Racine store at the Regency Mall located at 5900 Durand Avenue in Racine will be laid off due to the store closing, with layoffs beginning on or about April 5th, 2015.

The Southeast Workforce Development Board staff will coordinate delivery of Rapid Response Services to the affected workers.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Dislocated Worker Program provides assistance to workers, companies, and communities affected by mass layoffs or business closings.

Under state law, employers employing 50 or more individuals in the state may be required to give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing. Once the state becomes aware of any event affecting 50 or more workers, the Dislocated Worker Program’s Rapid Response Team reach out and offer assistance to the affected workers and employer.

DWD Rapid Response staff will:

• Verify the event;
• Schedule an initial planning meeting with the company, union representatives and local service providers; schedule an orientation for affected workers;
• Conduct an employee survey to determine services needed (usually done during orientation);
• Assist in applying for additional funds to provide increased services to the workers;
• Coordinate services among employment and training agencies.
Affected workers have access to numerous services to help them become re-employed. Basic services, most of which are available to anyone at no charge through the state’s Job Centers, include:
• Job search and career planning assistance, resume assistance, job training and access to job search databases.
More intensive and retraining services can become available for some workers under one or more DWD Workforce development programs. These intensive services can include:
• Eligibility determination for programs, skills assessment, job search and placement assistance, career planning assistance, short term prevocational training and occupational training.

DWD will also look at each dislocation to determine if the workers have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade or competition. If that is the case, workers may be eligible for additional assistance for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). Services available under TAA include training, income support while in training, job search allowance and relocation allowance.

Wisconsin spends nearly $40 million annually serving approximately 20,000 dislocated workers in various programs. Wisconsin consistently ranks highly among states in receipt of discretionary federal funding for dislocated workers.

READ IT: Letter from JCPenney’s VP of Human Resources to Racine’s County Executive, Mayor and the Department of Workforce Development.