GETZVILLE, N.Y. - At the end of May, five-hundred Bank of America employees will be out of a job in Getzville, but there are several people in Western New York already working right now to try to help them make their next career move.
"Losing your job is not a nice thing to have to deal with," says Workforce Development Consortium Administrative Director Lavon Stephens.
But, five-hundred people in Western New York are about to have to deal with losing their jobs as Bank of America closes its mortgage services division at the end of May. The company tells us that the need for that many employees just is not there anymore as the housing market improves.
Before anyone hits the unemployment line, the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Development Consortium offers hope, and free help, especially if you can keep an open mind about your next career move.
"If you have good math skills, that transfers into many different types of jobs. So, you may just have to look at who you are and what you are in a different light to find a new job," says Stephens.
Stephens' team has already started reaching out to those who face unemployment at Bank of America.
So have Kirk La and his team at GEICO. The insurance giant is right down the street from Bank of America, and it wants to add 15-hundred new positions in the near future.
"We have opportunities in our sales and our customer service areas. And, we have schedules to fit almost every need out there," says La.
Just walk upstairs to GEICO's second floor, and you can see there is plenty of room for expansion. La hopes to fill many of the positions with former Bank of America employees.
"Their skill sets could possibly match the needs that GEICO is looking for. So, I would definitely encourage them to stop by and take a look at us and come and fill out an application," he says.
With all of the companies hiring locally and free job placement services available, Stephens says one of the worst things you can do is wait until your employment checks run out to start looking for a new job.
"Understand that in this economy, looking for a job is a full time job. Even with the assistance that's out there. You have to put your own effort into it as well," he explains.
Citigroup also confirms it is hiring in Amherst. It needs to fill 175 new jobs in its Capital Markets and Transaction Services divisions. Citi is located in the same business park as GEICO and Bank of America.