Laid Off Oshkosh Workers Seek New Jobs

By Evan Kruegel, Local 5 News

Published 05/08 2014 09:07PM

Updated 05/08 2014 10:58PM

Richard Van Hoorn was first in line at the Generac Career Fair Thursday, looking for a job after being laid off from Axle Tech.

        "We were doing a lot of military work and with contracts coming to an end with the slow economy, our commercial lines were substantially down," he says. 

He was joined by hundreds of Oshkosh Defense workers in a similar boat - Looking to bring their careers back to life.

The fair comes less than a month after Oshkosh Corp. announced plans to lay off over 700 workers - leaving a field of qualified applicants unemployed

        "Certainly the timing worked out well," says Generac Spokesman Amy Beaman.

She says Generac and Magnum were contacted by Oshkosh Corp. shortly after the announcement, hoping to ease the transition for those being fired.

        "One of the things that we're trying to do is just identify some of those key positions that they may have qualified people that are looking for certain things that would match," she says.

Generac's career fair was a chance to fill 100 open positions, ranging from production workers to engineers. Many say the problem isn't necessarily a lack of jobs, but a lack of jobs that pay enough.

        "If you want 9, 10, 11 dollar am hour job, there's plenty of them out there," says Laid off Oshkosh worker Dwain Kracht.

        "They're low paying," says Van Hoorn. "You can't support a family on that and much less pay your utilities and put gas in your vehicle to get to work."

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