Soon-to-Be Unemployed at Union Metal Consider Options, Including Starting Their Own Companies

Jan 16, 2018

Union Metal in Canton gave 300-plus workers the word last month that the plant is closing for good this month, and they’re all out of work. Ohio is offering a special set of information sessions to help the employees find something new.

For Melinda DeHoff of Canton, medical transcripts may be an option.
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The Ohio Means Jobs Stark and Tuscarawas counties office set up workshops this week at its locations in Canton and New Philadelphia for the laid off employees. Two of the first-day attendees said it helped because it gave good information and a sense of hope.  

Melinda DeHoff of Canton was an office employee at Union Metal.

“I was more in the clerical end, so that’s where I’ll stay. I am a medical transcriptionist, so I’m hoping that might help me get into that."

Mike Basiewicz of Massillon, who is past 60, is taking another tack in trying to continue his career as a mechanical/electrical designer.

"I’m in the hunt, but I’m looking at other options, too:  to try and incorporate as an LLC, so a corporation isn’t taking  the responsibility of hiring an old guy. They’ll hire a limited liability company."

Michael Basiewicz of Massillon says companies may be more willing to hire his services even if they don't hire him.
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The two-hour workshops provide information and how-to’s on things like web searching for employment, resume writing, and interviewing. 

Amy Miller, resource center manager for Ohio Means Jobs Stark and Tusacrawas counties, says more training can be scheduled.
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Amy Miller, who leads the job training program, says people who can’t make scheduled sessions can still get help.

“If they’re not able to attend one of these sessions, maybe because of the weather, or something else—you know there are a lot of sick people running around right now—they can always call us and schedule for these appointments as well. We don’t want there to be any reason for them to feel like they can’t get an appointment or see someone to do a resume.” 

All told, 339 people were, or will be terminated in the closing of Union Metal.

The operation, in Canton since 1906, was one of the country's leading manufacturers of landscape and street-lighting equipment.