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Department of Labor to help former Sitel employees

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Sitel, a national call center, closed its Caribou office on Oct. 31 last year, leaving roughly 100 employees with little time to search for new jobs. Now, the Maine Department of Labor is holding two meetings in Presque Isle for workers affected by these layoffs and recently announced that the company’s former employees have been approved for trade adjustment assistance.

 

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program helps “workers whose jobs have been adversely impacted by foreign trade,” the department said in a press release. The upcoming meetings will cover this program as well as assist former employees with training, job search assistance, relocation allowance and health coverage tax credits and also cover wage subsidy for those older than 50. 

The meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 and 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Presque Isle Career Center, 66 Spruce Street, in Presque Isle.

Sitel employees were notified on July 15 that the Caribou business would be closing due to “recent business changes,” according to a company spokesperson, giving workers roughly three months to start searching for new employment. There are currently no plans in place to relocate Sitel to another office in the area.

The Department of Labor emphasized that they can assist any employers or employees with questions about their rights, responsibilities and obligations during a closure or downsizing in order to safeguard the stability of workers as well as their surrounding community.

Workers with unpaid wages are urged to contact the Maine Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division at 207-623-7900.

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