Job Front: Help available to W. Sac employees hit by Xyratex plant closure

Published: Monday, Apr. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Saturday, May. 4, 2013 - 3:01 pm

It's a difficult time for the more than 300 assemblers and manufacturers set to lose their jobs at data storage firm Xyratex International Inc.'s West Sacramento facility by the end of the year.

But help and resources are available for displaced Xyratex employees, from retraining to job counseling to information on how to file for unemployment benefits.

"Displaced workers are very special. They've been working and, through no fault of their own, they're out of a job," said Steve Roberts, an employment services specialist at Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services.

Roberts, of Yolo County's Rapid Response team, met Friday with some 170 workers at the company's Embarcadero Drive plant, joined by representatives from the state's Employment Development Department, the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency and the City of West Sacramento.

The county's Rapid Response program operates out of Yolo County One-Stop Career Centers in West Sacramento and Woodland, helping to retrain employees, assisting with their job search and offering financial counseling and information on unemployment benefits.

"It connects them to other opportunities. We try to respond immediately," said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, whose city is working with the Rapid Response program. "We have access to companies who are looking for workers."

Many of Xyratex's employees live in West Sacramento and Yolo County, but workers who live in Sacramento County also can take advantage of the program, Roberts said.

Workers also can apply for federal assistance to receive health coverage tax credits, and keep or obtain health coverage, Roberts said.

Xyratex is moving the bulk of its West Sacramento operation to Guadalajara, Mexico, in what officials said Friday was a move dictated by the loss of a major client.

Because of the company's move out of the country, employees can apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits. The federal program assists U.S. workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade.

Employees can apply for the benefits at their local employment office or One-Stop Career Center.

For more information, call Yolo County Employment & Social Services at (916) 375-6200 in West Sacramento, or (530) 661-2750 in Woodland, or toll free at (866) 226-5415.

Job fair Wednesday

A unique job fair geared for both adults and high school students is set for Wednesday in Woodland.

The fair, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Woodland's County Fair Fashion Mall, 1264 E. Gibson Road, will feature a number of local employers including Pacific Gas & Electric, Target, Clark Pacific, Home Depot, Magnum Seeds and Nippon Shokken.

The event is sponsored by Woodland Chamber of Commerce.

An hour before the free fair, at 2 p.m., the event is open to high school students in Woodland and Esparto who have earned their work-ready certificates.

For more information, call the chamber's Mark Ullrich at (530) 666-6671.

Let us hear from you

Is your company hiring? Is your organization hosting a career fair? Starting a networking group?

Contact Job Front at

Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

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