Workers laid off from Waterloo's Hostess locations are trying to figure out their next step. Tuesday, Hawkeye Community College hosted an informational meeting for workers. The newly unemployed face many challenges and uncertainty ahead.
Many local stores, including Logan Avenue Hy-Vee in Waterloo are getting their last shipment of beloved Hostess and Wonder Bread products.
Terry Scheffert has driven a hostess truck for the past five years. Now, just two years shy of retirement age, he finds himself unemployed and needing a job with health benefits.
"I'm 63. I do need the insurance, being rejected already by Blue Cross Blue Shield because I had a heart attack several years ago. Insurance is what I need, and it costs me about $2000 a month if I don't get into a group health plan," Scheffert said.
Workers laid off from the Waterloo plant, and Hostess' local distribution and retail centers are now learning about the road ahead. Hawkeye Community College and Iowa Workforce Development are connecting them with resources to help file for benefits, find a new job, or pursue their education.
"We've got computers for them to use. We have knowledge about the online databases that show job listings. There are some people that go further with us, maybe go to school. We've got some short term training, and they're coming out of it and they're getting jobs," said Jeanie Wright, Hawkeye Community College Workforce Development director.
Many Hostess workers are hopeful the company will be bought and the new owner will put those laid off back to work. But for now, their full-time job is finding new employment.
"I hope all my fellow people there will have good luck and they all make it," said Scheffert.
Hawkeye Community College has held similar events two other times this year for workers laid-off from BPI and PFG Best.
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