State helps former Waukesha Golden Guernsey workers

CREATED Jan 16, 2013 - UPDATED: Jan 16, 2013

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WAUKESHA - Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development has set up assistance for more than 100 workers who suddenly lost their jobs at a dairy plant in Waukesha.

The department was to hold assistance sessions at their Pewaukee office on Wednesday and Thursday.

The state announced they wanted to help those workers who were cut loose, many without notice.

92 former Golden Guernsey employees came to the Pewaukee facility on Wednesday.

"This is going to be a new experience for them, looking for a job," explained Francisco Sanchez of the DWD.

Sanchez and his co-horts were to help the former workers update their resumes and gain job interview skills.

"They're going to file for unemployment.  They're going to learn what options they have about health insurance."

Employees at the Golden Guernsey plant in Waukesha showed up to work earlier this month, only to find the gates were locked and the doors were shut.

DWD Secretary Reggie Newsom also said the company gave his department no notice of the closure.

State law says employers with more than 50 employees must provide 60 days advanced notice to the department.

Now, the department is set to find those employees find new jobs in the same field or a difference occupation and provide training.

After some employees have been with the dairy for 30 years, that job was all they knew.

"I'm going to have to start looking for a job I suppose," said Daryl Etzler, who worked at Golden Guernsey. 

"With that experience and my age, I don't know how much is out there."

"At the dairy, I did everything from drive forklifts (to) load trailers," explained Jake Weber, who worked there as well.

"I'll do whatever it takes to pay my bills...this left a bad taste in people's mouths."

Some workers were trying to find out about how to maintain benefits the job gave them as well.

"There's benefits that, unfortunately, we have to try and retrieve, and whether or not we'll be compensated for them, I don't know," said Scott Troyk.

The former dairy employees were to head to their first job fair a week from Friday.

The DWD wants former Golden Guernsey plant employees to pre-register at 262-695-8041.