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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Transition team begins work with Barclaycard employees - Lewiston Sun Journal

WILTON — Those affected by the loss of the town’s largest employer will be offered help with resume preparation and workforce training workshops.

Barclaycard US will close its local call center March 31, leaving 227 people without jobs.

Representatives from community resource organizations and local, state and federal government offices discussed a plan Tuesday to help people find new jobs or to further their educations. 

Judith Pelletier, the program manager for the Department of Labor’s rapid response team, said there had been several planning meetings with the company and the town.

Two tracts had been implemented, she said. One tract addresses economic development and future use of the building. The other addresses the needs of employees.

“We are working as a collaborative group to support workers and the town,” Pelletier said.

Isaac Wildrick, interim site lead of the Wilton facility, said employees had been notified of severance and benefits packages, which include job leads and job fairs, career training support, three months of continued support following the layoff, and laptop computers.

Health care benefits will end March 31, he said.

The Rapid Response team is working with Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care and Western Maine Community Action to help employees understand available health care options, Pelletier said.

Beginning Thursday, CareerCenter staff will work on site with employees to assist with preparing resumes.

Adult education centers in Farmington and Livermore Falls will offer workforce training workshops at Mt. Blue High School on Feb. 6 and  Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.

“The goal of the training is to point employees to possible career paths and education opportunities,” said Glenn Kapiloff, director of Franklin County Adult Education.

Surveys have been distributed to employees to identify needs. The surveys will also identify where employees live, Pelletier said.

“By looking at the surveys already collected, I can tell you this area will be greatly affected by this shutdown,” she said.  

Barclaycard US, operated by UK-based Barclays Bank, is a credit card and payment services provider and one of Franklin County’s largest employers.

Barclaycard opened its Wilton call center on Weld Road in 2008, and added hundreds of jobs in its first six years.

In 2015, it completed a $5 million expansion, allowing the business to employ nearly 500 workers. L.L.Bean in July dropped Barclaycard US as the vendor for its branded credit card, switching to Citibank.

The company announced the closure Jan. 8.

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Isaac Wildrick, interim site lead for the Wilton Barclaycard US call center, left, and Derek Fassett, military talent source director of workforce development, discuss options for call center employees affected by last week’s announcement that the Wilton center would close March 31. Wildrick and Fassett attended a Community Transition Team meeting Tuesday at the Wilton CareerCenter. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

Isaac Wildrick, interim site lead for the Barclaycard US call center in Wilton discusses supports put in place for employees affected by the impending closure of the call center. Wildrick was among nearly 50 community and government representatives to attend a Community Transition Team meeting at the Wilton CareerCenter on Tuesday. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear) 

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