City ready to assist Sears employees
The City of Belleville stands ready and prepared to assist with the transition of Sears employees and property within the city.
With recent announcements questioning the future of Sears Canada, Mayor Taso Christopher, economic development staff and the Belleville and District Chamber of Commerce have met to formalize a plan to ensure Sears employees have the opportunity to quickly transition to other work should Sears lay off all or part of its workforce.
“We are hopeful Sears will continue to be a valued employer in our community, but if that changes we are prepared to help the residents and businesses impacted by this uncertainty. Our economic development staff have a plan to help affected employees find new work and, if needed, the city and its partners can help market the available retail space and the large warehouse to ensure a new employer(s) is attracted,” stated Christopher in a city media release.
Karen Poste, manager of economic and strategic initiatives for the city, agreed and stated, “With so much uncertainty around the Sears situation, the city is prepared for any eventuality. Sears employees have in-demand skills and the buildings feature great amenities and superb locations. The process to transition people and properties will be supported by the entire community and economic development will take a lead role in coordinating local efforts.”
“The chamber has been involved with local workforce development initiatives because many of our local businesses are actively hiring and looking for new people to join their teams,” stated Derrick Morgan, chamber of commerce president. “Sears has developed staff whose loyalty and dedication is exactly what employers are looking for; we trust these opportunities in our community will allow the people currently working at Sears to transition quickly and seamlessly into new positions.”
The city will continue to work closely with Sears management, staff, its partners and other agencies to provide whatever support is needed to adapt during this difficult time.
Additional information will be provided as plans become finalized.
Sears Canada Inc. employs hundreds of people at its warehouse on College Street East. It also owns a store in the Quinte Mall. The company is now liquidating all of its stores across Canada including its local properties.