TN Career Center prepares to help laid-off Sea Ray workers

TN Career Center prepares to help laid-off Sea Ray workers

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The career center helps with resumes, assists with interviewing skills and offers a computer program that evaluates interests workers may have. The career center helps with resumes, assists with interviewing skills and offers a computer program that evaluates interests workers may have.
"There's a lot of transferable skills those individuals have that could go into different types of employment," Witt said. "There's a lot of transferable skills those individuals have that could go into different types of employment," Witt said.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The owner of Sea Ray Boats announced Tuesday plans to close their Knoxville plant by the end of 2012, cutting 225 jobs.

6 News looked at which resources are there to help get workers back on their feet.  

The Tennessee Career Center in Knoxville is filled with folks looking for jobs every day of the week.

"We do have employers who have job openings, and have been unable to fill those jobs," said Tim Witt, area manager of the Tennessee Career Center. "So hopefully with the skill level they obtained at Sea Ray, they will be able to find immediate employment."

The center anticipates former Sea Ray workers will turn to them, like a number of workers did in 2009, when the company laid off 540 workers.

"Sea Ray has particularly been difficult place, and they've been on a production line, so there's a lot of transferable skills those individuals have that could go into different types of employment," Witt said.  

The career center helps with resumes, assists with interviewing skills and offers a computer program that evaluates interests workers may have.  

"When they register they include their work experience, educational background, any type of educational training they receive and then we enter that into our database," Witt said.  

Witt said local companies like Green Mountain Coffee may be a good fit for Sea Ray workers.

He pointed to others, like manufacturing companies which utilize assembly lines, packaging and truck driving.  

Witt said the "soft skills" are the skills employers will appreciate the most.  

"Reporting to work on time, being dependable, doing whatever is asked of he or she on the job, always giving 100 percent. Those type of things are transferable, regardless of the industry," Witt said.  

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development will host the Knox County Job Fair on Thursday.

It will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Wallace Memorial Baptist Church.  

Approximately 30 companies will be on hand. The career center said many of those jobs will be suitable for former Sea Ray workers.

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