For more than eight decades, Hostess Brands, Inc. produced pastries and treats that became part of the fabric of American life. When the company closed its doors last November, it affected more than 18,000 workers nationwide, including over 2,000 in Missouri and Illinois. In the City of St. Louis, 365 employees at the local bakery suddenly found themselves without employment, in addition to dozens more employed at local retail outlets.
SLATE staff immediately coordinated with the Missouri DWD State Rapid Response Team and a variety of other public and private organizations to ensure that those affected by the Hostess closure were made aware of all the resources available to them.
In close cooperation with the AFL-CIO and organized labor representatives from the appropriate unions (Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers; Teamsters; and Machinists), a series of three “Surviving Layoff” Workshops were held at various locations in December. Each extensive session featured presentations from the Missouri AFL-CIO, SLATE and the St. Louis County Division of Workforce Development, Missouri Veterans Commission, US Department of Labor EBSA, IRS, Social Security Administration, United Way, and Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, among others. Lunches were provided to all participants courtesy of Teamsters Local 688, and all agency representatives were available afterwards for individual consultation and Q&A.
SLATE Executive Director Michael Holmes states, “In situations like this, the regional approach is generally the most effective one. My thanks to all the organizations and individuals who were so generous with their time and effort. We will continue to work together to ensure that those affected by this layoff find quality jobs and new careers.”
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment