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Transition team begins work with Barclaycard employees

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  • WILTON — Representatives from community resource organizations and local, state and federal government offices met at the Wilton CareerCenter Tuesday, Jan 15 to discuss a plan of action to assist those affected by the loss of the town’s largest employer, Barclaycard US.

    On Tuesday, Jan 8 the company announced it will close its Wilton call center March 31, leaving 227 people without jobs.

    Barclaycard US, operated by UK-based Barclays Bank, is a credit card and payment services provider and one of Franklin County’s largest employers.

    Barclaycard opened its Wilton call center on Weld Road in 2008, and added hundreds of jobs in its first six years.

    In 2015, it completed a $5 million expansion, allowing the business to employ nearly 500 workers. L.L.Bean in July dropped Barclaycard US as the vendor for its branded credit card, switching to Citibank.

    Judith Pelletier, the program manager for the Department of Labor’s rapid response team, said there had been several planning meetings with the company and the town over the last week.

    Two tracts had been implemented, she added. One tract addresses economic development and future use of the building; the other addresses the needs of employees.

    “We are working as a collaborative group to support workers and the town,” Pelletier said.

    Isaac Wildrick, interim site lead for the Wilton Barclaycard US call center, left, and Derek Fassett, military talent source director of workforce development, discuss options for call center employees affected by last week’s announcement that the Wilton center would close March 31. Wildrick and Fassett attended a Community Transition Team meeting Tuesday at the Wilton CareerCenter. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

    Isaac Wildrick, interim site lead of the Wilton facility, said employees had been notified of severance and benefits packages which include: job leads and job fairs, career training support, three months of continued support following the layoff, and a laptop.

    Health care benefits will end on March 31, he said.

    “Consumers for Affordable Healthcare and Western Maine Community Action healthcare navigators will be working with folks to help them understand their healthcare options,” said Pelletier. “Healthcare is usually a large concern with employees being laid off.”

    Isaac Wildrick, interim site lead for the Barclaycard US call center in Wilton discusses supports put in place for employees affected by the impending closure of the call center. Wildrick was among nearly 50 community and government representatives to attend a Community Transition Team meeting at the Wilton CareerCenter on Tuesday. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear) 

    CareerCenter staff will work on site with employees beginning Thursday to assist with preparing resumes.

    Two Barclaycard employees will be hired for temporary peer support positions at the CareerCenter. “These support workers will offer additional assistant once employees are laid off,” said Pelletier.

    Adult education centers in Farmington and Livermore Falls will offer workforce training workshops at Mt. Blue High School on Feb. 6 and 13 at 6 p.m.

    “The goal of the training is to point employees to possible career paths and education opportunities,” said Glenn Kapiloff, director of Franklin County Adult Education.

    Surveys had been distributed to employees to help identify needs, Pelletier said.

    “These surveys will also give us a better idea of where employees are from,” she added. “By looking at the surveys already collected, I can tell you this area will be greatly affected by this shutdown.”

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