New plan to aid laid off Carrier workers

By Abrahm Hurt 
TheStatehouseFile.com 

INDIANAPOLIS — Laid off Carrier workers will soon have access to financial support and more opportunities to be hired under a new plan unveiled Wednesday.

“By utilizing the $1.2 million dollars in tax incentives that were returned to the city from Carrier and their parent company, United Technologies, this approach will both help those displaced workers get back on their feet as well as restore trust and vitality within the Indianapolis business community,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a news conference. 

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett shakes the hand of Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999. Photo by Eddie Drews, TheStatehouseFile.com

Carrier made headlines during the 2016 presidential election when then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly used the air conditioning company’s decision to outsource jobs to Mexico as an example in speeches and at rallies. In December, Trump visited the Indianapolis facility where he announced efforts to save Hoosier jobs.

Last week, however, 300 people were laid off at Carrier and around 300 more people are expected to be laid off in the coming months.

Now the city is launching a “two-pronged approach” to help laid off Carrier workers. EmployIndy, Marion County’s workforce development board, will help employees find new jobs.

Dislocated workers can apply online at IndyCareerHub.org to receive $1,000 from the Mayor’s Carrier Fund. The employees will be able to use the money for supportive services such as transportation, child care, utility services and other individual needs.

The second approach is a program that will provide local companies with incentives to hire and retain affected Carrier workers for at least one year.  

President and CEO of EmployIndy, Angela Carr Klitzsch, said additional money will allow employees to have “barrier busting supportive services” and training opportunities. 

“I can’t stress how important it is for Carrier employees to sequence benefits appropriately and take full advantage of the suite of supports made available to them over the course of the next 18 months,” she said. 

Businesses that hire and retain a displaced Carrier worker for at least one year at $16 per hour, will be eligible for up to $1,000 in incentives.

President and CEO of EmployIndy Angela Carr Klitzsch speaks at a news conference alongside Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. Photo by Eddie Drews, TheStatehouseFile.com

Local businesses interested in the incentive program can email carrier@indy.gov, or contact Department of Metropolitan Development at 317-327-5355 or Develop Indy at 317-464-2218.

Hogsett said this plan will help displaced workers get back on their feet as well as restore trust within the Indianapolis business community.  

“While today’s announcement does not erase the wounds left by Carrier’s decision, this signals a significant step in the healing process,” he said. “One that will correct the pathways of our community by providing the help that those employees so richly deserve and need, and it will also — at the same time — encourage local businesses to stay local.” 

Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. 

 

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