ST. LOUIS – The city of St. Louis is stepping up Wednesday to try and help find new jobs for workers recently laid off from trucking companies. Hundreds of local workers have been affected. The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, or ‘SLATE, is hosting the hiring event downtown.
SLATE is the city agency charged with helping displaced workers.
‘Yellow Trucking’ is one of the companies that recently shut down, leaving hundreds of St. Louis workers without jobs.
SLATE officials say Wednesday’s job fair is for all job seekers interested in transportation and logistics careers. However, they specifically mention that the event is to help displaced workers from Yellow Trucking and DHL find new employment.
SLATE officials also shared that it’s been devastating to watch numerous companies over the past few weeks close their doors with people trying to figure out what’s next.
FOX 2 spoke with a SLATE official Wednesday morning as well as a former truck driver for Yellow who just recently lost his job.
“So I think this is going to help a lot for people that can’t find something right now,” Mike Baladenski, who drove for Yellow for nearly 30 years before losing his job when the company closed, expressed. I’ve been looking since they closed the doors, and I haven’t been able to find anything yet. I’m trying to be optimistic about it, you know, and hopefully this is going to work today for me and I’ll be set to go then.”
“As far as transportation and logistics, there has been a number of different organizations that have closed down. And SLATE is trying to do their part in terms of connecting people to jobs,” said Shekima Hunter, SLATE. “And if we have to host job fairs every week, that’s what we will do in order for people to keep their jobs and stay employed.”
Companies included Grey Eagle Distributing, FedEx, MoDOT, the Missouri Highway Patrol, Bi-State Development, and the United States Postal Service.
“The job market is kind of changing from what I’m seeing – I’ve been doing this about 15 years. And what we’re seeing right now is it’s tightening up a little bit,” said Ken Riddick, a SLATE business service representative. “Strong market as far as jobs still, so the Yellow Trucking and DHL should be able to get re-employed.
SLATE told FOX 2 the number of people laid off from those trucking companies is more than 300.
Starting pay at the U.S. Postal Service $19.33.
“Currently we’re hiring for city carrier assistance where they come in and work mail-carrying routes,” said Stacey Sowadski, USPS.
This job fair also aimed to help anyone interested in transportation or logistics careers.
MTC offers truck driver training, and drivers can earn between $60,000 and $85,000.
“The cool thing about MTC is we are a truck driver training program specifically for obtaining your CDL Class A license. And so you actually don’t need really any experience,” said Logan Goulet, MTC.
The program teaches everything from start to finish, and it’s only three to four weeks long.
For anyone who couldn’t attend the job fair, SLATE says it’s always available to help. Its Job Center is at 1520 Market Street on the 3rd Floor, Room 3050.