Displaced employees offered assistance through UT Works

August 28, 2009 | UToday
By Kim Goodin

Human Resources and the Office of Quality and Continuous Learning will launch UT Works, a program designed to assist employees no longer employed by the University due to reductions in work force that occurred April 28 and after.

UT Works includes an array of employment resources, skills training and targeted advice regarding employment opportunities, both internal and off campus.

“We’re trying to provide a soft landing by offering our affected employees a place to go for multiple resources that will lead to other opportunities,” said President Lloyd Jacobs. “These are challenging economic times, and we’ve had to make some tough decisions. Reducing staff isn’t something we wanted to do, but it’s been necessary.”

The program is administered by an interdisciplinary team of UT professionals. Employees who are eligible for UT Works services were informed by letter or during layoff notifications last week.

As was discussed at Monday’s Board of Trustees’ committee meetings and Tuesday’s town hall meeting, UT Works was created to assist employees affected by reductions in force. Thirty-four of the 90 employees affected by April cutbacks have already been placed in open University positions. The remaining 56 employees are eligible to participate in UT Works.

“One of the biggest benefits of UT Works is an opportunity for some of these employees to re-train so they may become qualified for open positions with the University,” said Bill Logie, vice president for human resources and campus safety. “Wherever possible, we’ll take existing skill sets and fill in the gaps with reasonable training if it can be applied to a job we need to fill.”

Those within UT Works also will be able to apply for internal positions before they are opened to the general UT community or to the public. The University will adhere to contractual obligations.

“There are a lot of questions from those who have lost their positions within the University,” Logie said. “We’re here to help with answers about the basics, such as benefits, unemployment and pensions, but we’ll also have resources for people who may decide this is an opportunity to begin their own businesses or embark on other entrepreneurial ventures.”

The Office of Quality and Continuous Learning will be a partner in UT Works, offering courses such as Solving the Job Puzzle to re-introduce job-seekers to today’s market, as well as multiple professional development classes that cover areas like effective resumé writing, interviewing and business communication.

Employees assisted through UT Works retain their educational benefits for pursuing training for University positions through the end of spring semester 2010. This individual benefit extends only to the employee, not to the employees’ dependents.

“Our goal is to do everything we can to help our employees keep working, if not here at UT, then externally,” Logie said.

The UT Works Web site is available here. Several resources, including employment search engines, frequently asked questions, job training opportunities and links to statewide unemployment tools, are available.

UT Works employees also can e-mail utworks@utoledo.edu or call 419.530.4747 for questions or information.

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