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City prepares to help laid-off Agero employees

Transition and retraining programs under consideration
Agero announced last week that it will close its 15-year-old Sault Ste. Marie facility in April, 2020. Michael Purvis/SooToday

Both the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corp. are interested in helping 300 local Agero employees whose jobs are being relocated to Tennessee and Arizona.

"I can say that we have reached out to the folks at Agero," Tom Vair, the city's deputy chief administrative officer for community development and enterprise services, told Monday's City Council meeting.

Responding to a question from Ward 2 Coun. Luke Dufour, Vair said the call centre has agreed to provide the city with a list of the skill sets of its Sault workers, "and how we might be able to transition them into other positions in the community."

Vair said the Econonic Development Corp. indicated at its own meeting on Monday that it's also reached out to Agero and is scheduling meetings to discuss transition planning.

"We'll work together with them, with the labour force development coordinator, to see how we can look at transition programs and possible retraining programs as well," he said. 

George Horvat, Agero's Boston-based chief operations officer told SooToday last week that all Sault jobs will be moved at the end of April to Agero facilities in Tuscon, Arizona and Clarksville and Tri-Cities (Kingsport, Johnson City and Bristol) in Tennessee.

Horvat attributed the decision to the prohibitive cost of technology upgrades needed in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as travel difficulties posed by our “remote“ location and the company’s wish to consolidate its personnel management.

David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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