The Newfoundland government is reaching out to assist 86 employees of Terra Nova Shoes who will be affected by the company's decision to move its Harbour Grace manufacturing operations to Ontario.
A news release this morning from the Department of Advanced Education and Skills says officials with the department have contacted representatives of the company and met with the Town of Harbour Grace to offer employment supports and services to the workers.
Minister Kevin O'Brien said the department has dedicated staff resources in its Carnonear office to assist displaced workers in seeking retraining or new employment opportunities.
"The challenges and concerns of affected employees are top of mind for us and we will work with the company, the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development and the Town of Harbour Grace to offer all available employment supports and services,” the minister said.
O'Brien said his department will develop an employee and skills assessment inventory of impacted workers, which will help match employees needs to the services offered through the department. "The data will be used to work with educational and training institutions in the region for retraining opportunities," the minister said, "to identify new employers and tailor a job fair for displaced workers. Information sessions and one-on-one employment services will be provided."
The Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development provided a fully secured, repayable loan to Terra Nova Shoes. There is currently approximately $6.1 million outstanding on the loan. However, the news release said, the provincial government has no concerns about reimbursement and Terra Nova is currently developing a proposal for repayment of the loan which will be provided in the coming days.
Innovation, Business and Rural Development Minister Susan Sullivan said the provincial government is committed to helping businesses succeed and creating an environment that supports employment opportunities for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. "When companies struggle and employment is impacted, the provincial government has a responsibility to the province’s taxpayers, displaced workers, and the local business community to ensure that mechanisms are in place to respond," Sullivan said.
The employees are encouraged to visit the Advanced Education and Skills Employment Centre at 17 Industrial Crescent in Carbonear or call 709-945-3224. Assistance is also available via the Labour Market and Career Information Hotline at 1-800-563-6600, TTY: 1-866-729-4685.