Kentucky furniture manufacturer going out of business; immigrants lose jobs

Hurry!!!  Tell Senator Rand Paul we need to bring in more foreign workers to add to the unemployed refugee workers  in Bowling Green!

Longtime readers of RRW know that Bowling Green is a preferred resettlement site for refugees and has been in the news many times for problems there with the federal refugee contractors, with crime and with its dubious distinction as the home of two Iraqi refugee terrorists (now convicted and in the slammer).

Doors close at Eagle Industries

…by immigrant laborers!

This is the bad news from the Bowling Green Daily News (hat tip: Robin):

Bosnian, Burmese, Spanish, Vietnamese and English were among the languages spoken Wednesday by the more than 150 former Eagle Industries employees who sought help from the Rapid Response Team.

The Bowling Green furniture maker shut down last month with the intention of reopening with new owners. Instead, the company was forced into receivership and 286 people are without a job. So while employees quickly filed for unemployment benefits, they did not fill out all the paperwork needed for continued unemployment benefits, according to A.J. Tutko of the state’s Office of Employment and Career Services.

“You all thought you were going to be called back,” Tutko said, followed by interpreters in different languages.

Workers need to register for job focus career services, a web-based program that matches a person’s skill set with available jobs.

One man asked Tutko if he knew anything about the fate of Eagle. “No, I don’t,” he said.

Tutko was brought in for the meeting by the Rapid Response Team, which is overseen by the Barren River Area Development District. The team helps workers displaced in massive layoffs or closures. The team had two sessions at the BRADD office Wednesday and was scheduled to have two more today. It wasn’t clear how many workers would show up.

Workers in need of health care are desperate!

Jill Lewis, response team coordinator, started talking to workers about COBRA health insurance and how they could find out about those benefits. But workers, through an interpreter, said Eagle had stopped their health insurance benefits three years ago.

“Then they wouldn’t be eligible for this,” Lewis said.

She suggested that people look toward Fairview Health Center for help and suggested they sign up their children under 19 for Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program. It was clear that workers were unaware of that program. Many of the Hispanic women quickly shuffled through their papers looking for information on the program.

Read it all.  There were a few other employers at the event looking for a few workers (maybe!).

For more on the mess the US Office of Refugee Resettlement and the US State Department have made of Bowling Green, type ‘Bowling Green’ into our search function and you will find posts spanning nearly 6 years.

After you let Senator Paul know (his staff person responsible for immigration is Brian Darling, 202-224-4343, Brian_Darling@paul.senate.gov), let Senator McConnell know too!

I have a sneaking suspicion that these employers looking for cheap immigrant labor have been enabling McConnell (and vice versa!) for decades.  Bowling Green would not have become a federal preferred resettlement community without McConnell’s blessing!

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