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JLG employees to be offered options

August 27, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - The 850 workers who will lose their jobs at JLG Industries Inc. beginning Sept. 5 have been invited to a meeting from 1 to 4 p.m. today, at which they will get information on unemployment benefits, retraining and insurance.

Six speakers from the state Department of Labor's dislocated worker unit will address JLG employees at American Legion Post No. 561, 411 N. Fifth St., McConnellsburg.

Local colleges and other training institutes will also have tables set up where representatives will be available to talk to workers.

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"The opportunities are out there for employment and retraining," said Joyce Lynch, director of Fulton County Job Training Partnership Act, who helped organize the event.

Displaced workers can qualify for money for retraining and more education as long as it's for a marketable skill, said Margaret Taylor, executive director of the Fulton Industrial Development Corporation.

"This gives people the opportunity to think about what they want to do five years down the road," Taylor said.

Just recently, a JLG worker called Taylor to inquire about CAD/CAM computer training programs in the area.

Such information will be available at today's meeting, she said, calling it "one-stop shopping" for employment needs.

"I encourage anyone who has been notified by JLG Industries to consider coming," Taylor said, adding that the meeting will save workers long-distance calls and travel to obtain the information on their own.

The upcoming layoffs represent roughly 30 percent of JLG's work force. The maker of aerial work platforms is Fulton County's largest employer.

More than 2,500 workers are employed at plants in McConnellsburg, Bedford, Pa., and Fort Littleton, Pa. The company is closing the production facility in Fort Littleton.

The layoffs and plant closings are part of the company's restructuring plan to get back on track for fiscal year 1998 after its earnings-per-share for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1997 were below previous expectations, according to company officials.

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