Task Force to Assist Employees of Westpoint Stevens Plant

Several agencies are forming a task force to assist employees of the Westpoint Stevens Plant in Abbeville. By late summer, they'll be out of work because the plant is shutting down.

The program is called Henry County Cares, but once you look at a list of the participants it's easy to see everywhere people want the best for current employees of the Westpoint Stevens Plant in Abbeville.

Mike Payne with the Unemployment Comp. Division said the group hopes to, "Find out how the unemployment system works and hopefully we can help them navigate the system without any problems and get the benefits due to them."

The state of Alabama sent its Rapid Response Team to the plant this week to meet with workers collecting information, and informing them of opportunities for benefits.

Robert Lee, with the AL Rapid Response Team said, "They know where to go for those services and benefits. It gets them to thinking so then they know if training is involved, what they can do and what their options are. Hopefully [they can then] get the correct information concerning those options."

These times can be trying for Westpoint Stevens’ employees, but the state says they are receiving help with open arms.

Payne added, "They seem very appreciative that we're talking to them. Some of them already filed claims [and] told us about the concerns they had and what we can address."

The efforts of the Dothan Chamber of Commerce, the Dothan Area Career Center and the Saliba Services Center will be combined later on for a career fair, hopefully giving those seeking new employment somewhere to turn,

The combined services group will meet in Abbeville Wednesday morning to schedule a job fair.

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