The last thing anyone wants to hear after the Holidays is that they are being laid off or fired from their job, but that is exactly what happened to employers at two different mining operations within Mohave County shortly after the Holiday season ended. Mineral Park Mine located near the Chloride/Kingman area sent out layoff notices on December 29th notifying over 380 employees of staggering layoffs over an eight week period. The Mojave Desert Minerals Gold Road Mine located in Oatman announced in January it would be closing its doors allowing roughly sixty employees the two week minimum required by state law to find work elsewhere. “Normally our Community Services Department is given ample notice by the employer before a mass layoff, but that was not the case with Mineral Park,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated. “Despite little notice, our Community Services Department worked around the clock to provide help for the residents affected by the layoffs,” Johnson continued. According to Supervisor Johnson, the Mineral Park closure is the largest workforce reduction he has seen since taking office in 1997. In order to help the laid off workforce, the Community Services Department put together a rapid response team in order to meet the needs of the workers. With the help of One-Stop partners, the Arizona Department of Commerce and the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), the county was able to put together four different job fairs throughout the month of January. According to Community Services Director, Susie Parel-Duranceau, the first three job fairs brought in roughly 300 people. “Around 80-75% of those folks were laid off from Mineral Park,” Duranceau stated. “We did have a few who came to the job fair just looking for a job that were not a part of the laid off workers,” she continued. The job fair focused on helping workers set up their resumes, look for other jobs across the country, and identify unemployment and other benefits they may qualify for.
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