Workforce Oklahoma Meets With Former Arrow Trucking Employees
By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
SAPULPA, OK -- The state is offering help to the truck drivers and office staff from Arrow Trucking.
They were laid off when the company closed down.
The best news for the truck drivers is that other companies are hiring but as several drivers told us, so was Arrow right up until they shut down.
For the first time since the layoff, a large group of former Arrow Trucking employees were together to hear what state assistance and charity might be available for them.
They qualify for unemployment, retraining, education assistance and more.
Lynda Baird of the Employment Security Commission said, "Basically just tools to put in their hands about what they need to do now and what they need to do later on. This is a very stressful time for these people and they need all the help they can get."
It was positive news for the 125 laid off employees who were at the meeting.
"I have some options available but I'd like to find another trucking job if I could," said Alan Kerby, Former Arrow Employee.
Arrow Trucking abruptly closed just before Christmas, so abruptly that many of the drivers were left in the middle of deliveries and had to get back home best they could.
Jeffrey Kerr drove over a million miles for Arrow, over 14 years, and he was as surprised as anyone.
"We were still hiring up until a week before they layoff, just before the Christmas break," Kerr said.
While the meeting focused on benefits available to help people find new jobs and to get by if they cannot, there were also literally employers waiting to hire in the back of the room.
"We've got a handful of staff positions, in operations, sales, recruiting, logistics," said Angie Buchanan, Melton Truck Lines. "We also have 25 - 30 driver positions."
Some of these drivers will get some of those jobs but it is uncertain how many can quickly get back behind the wheel.
"I don't think there's as many out there to cover as many employees as there were here. That's a lot of jobs," Kerr said.
Today's meeting was not a requirement to get any of the benefits just a way to get it in person all at once.
Any state employment office, and there are many, have the same information.
At that meeting at Central Tech in Sapulpa, 125 former Arrow Trucking employees listened to a ODC Rapid Response Team from Workforce Oklahoma about what to do next.