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Job Fair for Ex-Siemens Workers

Congress is not expected to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit, which means it will expire at the end of the calendar year.

That led a group of lawmakers to go to the House floor, Wednesday, to call on Speaker John Boehner to bring the legislation up for a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress.

Among the group was Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA 2), who touted his state’s wind energy production status.

“Iowa is the second largest producer of wind energy,” said Loebsack.  “Wind manufacturing involves about 200 companies and 6,000 good-paying jobs for Iowans.  Congress should not play games with people’s jobs and pull the rug out from an industry employing thousands in the middle of an economic downturn.  The wind credit is also important for energy production and job creation. Congress must extend the wind credit now, before more jobs are lost.”

Siemens Energy says the uncertainty surrounding the production tax credit contributed to its decision to lay off 400+ permanent and 150+ temporary employees from its Fort Madison plant.

Meanwhile, an event this afternoon will focus exclusively on getting those men and women back to work.

The Targeted Job Fair for Former Siemens Employees will take place from 12:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. at the Comfort Inn in Fort Madison.

Diane Poisel with IowaWORKS says the idea is to get these men and women in touch with employers who need workers with their specific skills.

“Even if they maybe have had several interviews or even if they are planning on starting a new job in the future, that they have been hired for, come on out and see what is available,” says Poisel.

She says IowaWORKS has held more than a half dozen meeting with employees who are set to lose their jobs Nov. 19 to let them know what is available to them.

More than 20 businesses are scheduled to attend today’s job fair.  The list includes Case New Holland, Allied Blending, DOT Foods, and Keokuk Steel Castings.

Poisel says the laid-off workers are also eligible for tuition reimbursements, so 11 colleges and universities will be in attendance including Spoon River College, Southeastern Community College and Western Illinois University.