Employment centre for former Ford Talbotville workers set to close next month
The Ford St. Thomas plant has been idle now for two and half years and soon the last piece of its legacy will close.
The Action Centre, designed to help displaced workers find jobs is slated to shut its doors in April.
But has it been successful in its mandate?
Long-time Ford worker Dennis McKee stares at a reality he predicted with a friend just over two years ago.
"All your going to see is weeds coming out of the parking lot," said McKee in 2011.
At that time, McKee was the head of the CAW at Ford, but now, he's a new retire.
For the past two and half years McKee has headed-up the CAW Ford Action Centre, set-up by Ford and the government to help workers move on with their lives.
It hasn't been easy, but most of the 1300 displaced have found a path forward.
"An 81% success rate, so I think that's a pretty good result overall," says McKee.
That number includes retirees and a few kept on layoff.
Nearly 300 are working elsewhere.
A fortunate group -- larger than was expected -- have been re-hired by Ford to work outside of our region.
"There is about 170, that have moved onto other Ford locations in Oakville, Bramelea and Edmonton. And, now the last round of those will hopefully go into Oakville this spring," says McKee.
Although, many of those who have moved on, have not found such lucrative jobs as they did in Talbotville.
"I don't think anyone, anyone, has gotten even close to $20 an hour. The going rate is $12 to $16, they get up to $17 or $18," says McKee.