Government aids local Hostess employees out of work - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Government aids local Hostess employees out of work

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A series of special training sessions just ended Thursday but will resume again Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Columbus Technical College. 

It is a free service run by the Georgia Dept. of Labor that is available to former employees of the now bankrupt Hostess. 

"With the closing of Hostess brand foods, we had about 400, 450 people who were suddenly without a job. So we came in today, there's a job fair next week, but we came in today to give those people a leg up," said Cindy Morely, representative for Georgia Department of Labor.

For many of the employees of the factory on Victory Drive, Hostess was the only company they've ever known.  When the company closed its operations in Columbus, some workers were ripped out of their careers at a time when retirement was right around the corner.

"Well I was sad because I had worked there most of my adult life and it was real sad us walking out the door that last day.  So it was an experience and we had no say so in it.  A lot of companies don't like to hire people that are over 40, especially maybe over 60.  He told us a lot of things we can say and do to help us get another job," said former Dolly Madison worker Richie Hester.

The last time they applied for a job, there was no internet, no social media, and it was a completely different environment for seeking new work.

 "It's been a long time since I've had to go through all these procedures. A lot of things are different with technology and everything.  I got a lot of new information. I got a lot of things I learned today that will benefit me at the job fair," said Patricia Baskin, a Hostess employee who lost her job.

Event organizers said the job seekers don't have to be present for classes the entire day.  They can stop in for an hour or two and still get some valuable tips before the February 14th job fair at the Convention Center.

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