Job hunt proving difficult for soon-to-be laid off GM workers

By Katrina Webber - email | bio

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Time is quickly running out for workers at the Shreveport General Motors plant-- and some of its suppliers-- who will be out of work next week.

Back in July, the automaker's executives announced the layoffs as part of a cost-saving program for the company.  Locally, that translates to the plant's second shift being eliminated as of September 26, taking with it about 700 jobs.

 And in a domino effect, about 800 more people who work for GM's local vendors and suppliers will also be laid off.

With that date quickly approaching, many are trying to find new jobs, but that task has not been easy.

"I've been looking but I haven't come up with anything yet," said Charles Dyer, who works for one of GM's parts suppliers. "It's tough for everybody, not just for me."

Reece Lewing with the Workforce Development office in Shreveport says his agency has been working closely with the soon-to-be unemployed to steer them into new jobs-and in some cases, new lines of work all together.

"For some people, it's a case of an opportunity to go ahead and make a career change," he said. 

But Lewing said the reality is, some workers may not like what they find.  GM is among one of the higher paying employers in the area.

"There's not a lot of jobs in the Shreveport Bossier area that pay that much money," he said.  "It's gonna be kind of a reality check, going out in the labor market and trying to find comparable paying jobs."

Lewing said his office will begin working with members of the state workforce commission next week on a new job search assistance program for the workers.

In addition, there will be a job fair exclusively for the GM workers next month.  It's scheduled for 1 pm on October 14 at Riverview Hall.