AFY workers prepare for training

Published 6:42 am Thursday, December 4, 2008

Former employees of American Fibers and Yarns (AFY), who were laid off due to the company’s Bainbridge plant closing in October, began the process of acquiring new job training on Wednesday.

Meeting at the Performing Arts Building at the Earle May Boat Basin, 97 former employees completed aptitude and abilities and interest inventory assessments to help choose a new career path.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) workers from Bainbridge, Camilla, Thomasville and Albany were on hand to help with the assessment. WIA is a federal program that addresses workforce investment and educational services for adults, dislocated workers and youths.

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Former AFY employees were deemed eligible to receive funding under the Trade Readjustment Allowance, a federal government program that helps workers laid off due to their jobs being sent abroad. The program will pay for worker’s training for up to two years at eligible technical schools and colleges in the area, which includes Bainbridge College.

“We are all hoping to go back to college and learn some different traits. Hopefully the economy will pick up,” said Bill Josey, a former AFY employee.

Patricia Shepard, supervisor of the Bainbridge SKILLS Center—a program with the Georgia Department of Labor, said by combining the results of the two assessments they are able to find a career that best suits each person.

“If it is something they are good at and something they enjoy, then they should be successful,” Shepard said.

Following the tests, individual appointments will be held with each worker to review results and decide what career path to pursue. Each worker will be assigned a career adviser to help with problems they may encounter throughout their training.