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Despite KC plant closings, employment groups confident workers will find jobs



Faced with two major plant shutdowns, Kansas City-area employment groups are gearing up to transition hundreds of workers into new jobs.

However, even with almost 1,500 workers due to hit the job market in the next two years, the groups are confident those people will get placed in new positions.

“I’m very optimistic,” said Keely Schneider, executive director of Workforce Partnership, which serves employees in Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte Counties. “There are sectors that would be more difficult to accommodate, but this is not one of them.”

Shelly Penn, COO of the Full Employment Council, said an abundance of unfilled jobs should help laid-off workers find other jobs quickly.

On Jan. 30, Harley-Davidson announced that it would close its Kansas City plant, displacing about 800 jobs. Just a week later, Procter & Gamble announced that it would close its operations in Kansas City, Kan., affecting 280 full-time employees and 350 contractors.

The Full Employment Council also is taking calls from businesses — and many are hiring, including Honeywell, Amazon and a few unnamed businesses that recently opened.

Workers at the Harley plant bring advanced manufacturing skills, including welding, CNC machine operation and robotics. The Full Employment Council has identified about 500 available jobs with comparable job requirements and benefits.

Read more: Kansas City Business Journal

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