Sidney Job Service Provides Valuable Resources For Former Sidney Sugars Employees

Former Sidney Sugars employees have found resources through the Sidney Job Service over the last few months. Within days of learning that the factory was closing, Governor Gianforte visited Sidney and tasked the Sidney Job Service with providing every possible resource to the individuals impacted by the layoffs.

A welding trailer, provided by Great Falls College, was brought to Sidney Sugars for onsite training April 3-13, 2023. Dawson Community College provided the trainer, materials and safety gear, and Sidney Job Service called on other area Job Services to assist.

“We arranged to bring in extra support from other Job Service offices to ensure all the welders had their enrollment paperwork done for access to the training funding as well as the documentation needs of Dawson Community College being met. This was accomplished on site at Sidney Sugars with support of their management,” explained Sidney Job Service Manager Steve Olson.

Fourteen Sidney Sugars employees completed the two-week, non-certified, prevocational course which was funded at Olson’s request by the Dislocated Worker Training Grant. The grant of federal funding was approved by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry’s Program Director.

On April 19, the Sidney Job Service, in partnership with the Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, had a booth at the local job fair with staff on-site offering resume assistance, career guidance, assistance to present employers with hiring and retention strategies, and updating their employment-related posters.

“I presented to a group of area employers on timely and relevant hiring and retention practices and how those have changed over the years,” he said. “I also presented to a group of career seekers and those seeking to improve their careers on modern day job search and employability skills.”

Additionally, the Sidney Job Service has had over 50 sit-downs with former Sidney Sugars employees where they assisted the workers in obtaining new careers and developing plans to reach their employment goals. The Sidney Job Service was able to fund career-related training such as CDL certification, welding, and software applications through the Dislocated Worker program, and helped nearly every laid off employee with their unemployment claims. Olson noted that the majority of the individuals they have spoken with have stayed within the community.

“Our goal is to understand the needs of the clients so that we can best assist their unique situation through assessments and discussions,” Olson said.

The Sidney Job Service continues to offer resources such as one-on-one customized employment services for anyone looking for work or seeking a better career. These can include mock interviews to develop interview skills, resume building, application guidance and online application support, interest assessments, access to both formal education and vocational training for those who qualify, and general support for those who are struggling to find, keep or change careers. They also provide a number of valuable services to employers.

Olson and his team have received several compliments from the individuals they have worked with and Sidney Sugars general manager. Olson also extends his gratitude to his colleagues at the Glendive and Miles City Job Services who have dedicated their time and energy in assisting displaced Sidney Sugars employees.

“Beyond the concern for the local economy, as someone who has experienced a layoff, my concern is for the well-being of the individuals and their families,” Olson commented. “The financial impact of a layoff is understood but what often is missed is the emotional impact. We do our very best to be good listeners to those who have experienced a job loss such as this to ensure we make referrals to other supportive services they or their family members may need.”

For more information about the Sidney Job Service, contact them at 406-433-1204.


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