Arizona miner layoffs continue, county career system encourages skill transfer

plans to officially close the Sierrita copper mine, which is located about 20 miles outside Tucson, Arizona, in the city of Sahuarita. The mine had previously employed 1,300 people, and had begun announcing layoffs in August and October due to low copper and oil prices. Because of these prices, spending cuts became necessary. The mine is expected to continue to operate with a 50 percent workforce through January, though when the mine closes, at least 450 more individuals in the area will find themselves out of work. County employment assistance program Pima One-Stop Career System has already been working with those who were laid off earlier this fall, and those who will need employment assistance in the coming months. The organization provides employment resources, career services and job training, and is optimistic that the miners will be able to transfer existing skills to other types of positions. Pima One-Stop and other area companies plan to host job fairs over the next few weeks, and are encouraging those that have their commercial driver’s licenses to consider driving careers. The mining industry has taken a big hit this year, with more than 109,000 jobs lost (as of October 2015) in the industry since December 2014. The last big mining bust was in the late 1990s.]]>

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