Peregrine, MyVerona workers attend informational career meeting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Peregrine, MyVerona workers attend informational career meeting

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Elizabeth Duchene's work as a server at MyVerona came to a sudden end with little warning.

"Tuesday I was supposed to work at 10 am.  I was told at 8:30 not to come in," Duchene said.

Duchene hasn't worked since.

She was stunned to hear owner of the restaurant Russ Wasendorf Senior is accused of committing fraud of more than $200 million.

"Russ would come in four times a week and we got to know his wife very well.  He was our papa bear and she was our first lady. We're shocked," Duchene said.

More than 200 employees like Duchene are now out of work and trying to figure out what comes next.

Jack Nees, also a server at MyVerona, says the past week has taken its toll on many of his co-workers.

"There's a lot of people that have culinary degrees and are management there that are taking this a lot harder," Nees said. 

Wednesday Hawkeye Community College facilitated a closed door employee informational meeting.

Some 75 employees attended.

The meeting helped connect MyVerona and Peregrine workers with available community resources including job assistance, educational opportunities, unemployment insurance, and food and utility support.

"So often the shock is the primary thing on their mind and what am I going to do now," said Jeanie Wright, Workforce Development Director with Hawkeye Community College.

Even with the available help, plenty of question marks remain for these employees as they now have to adjust to an unexpected career change.

"I think it's my time to relocate, maybe move to Des Moines trying to find that full time job," Duchene said.

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