Erie, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today met with the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 506 to discuss efforts to help workers impacted by General Electric (GE) Transportation’s planned layoffs by the end of 2018.
“GE’s decision is incredibly tough for these hardworking families and a disappointment to the entire region,” said Governor Wolf. “I commend UE 506 for engaging in collective bargaining with GE to ensure their members are treated as fairly as possible.”
“I am committed to ensuring that Erie’s economy remains competitive and the employees impacted by this decision will find good, family sustaining jobs.”
Following GE’s announcement, Governor Wolf called the company’s Chief Executive Officer and strongly urged the company to reconsider. With the company’s refusal to change course, Governor Wolf and his administration have worked with Local 506 to put a plan in place to mitigate the potential impact on workers and the region.
At Governor Wolf’s direction, the Department of Labor and Industry will work with UE Local 506 to help displaced employees return to the workforce. The department’s Rapid Response team and the local CareerLink will offer information about retraining and education, health insurance and unemployment benefits, and job seeking assistance, including access to computers and phones for the transition to re-employment.
“I will do everything in my power to help the Erie economy recover from this loss as the community and the commonwealth build on our successes in bringing jobs to this region,” said Governor Wolf. “There’s no question this is a tough situation, but I am fully confident in the workforce, the citizens, and the spirit of Erie.”
The region remains an important destination for businesses to invest and build. Through the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Governor’s Action Team, almost 600 jobs have been created or retained in Erie. Businesses including Sterling Technologies, VNET, UPMC and Logistics Plus, which the governor visited earlier today, have committed to the region with their recent investments
To further spur job creation and development, the commonwealth has invested $5 million in the Harbor Place project to remake Erie’s Bayfront, provided over $1.5 million in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits to encourage businesses to invest in distressed areas, and a Keystone Enterprise Zone was created in the city to encourage innovation, attract businesses, and create jobs.