Aid for Meijer workers ousted by competition

posted by WOOD TV - 

SAND LAKE, Mich. (WOOD) — Employees laid off by Meijer last year are now eligible for federal benefits that include job training and paid tuition.

The reason why Meijer has to offer these benefits is because the information technology jobs it eliminated in West Michiganwere filled by workers in other countries. Some of the outgoing employees had to train their replacements in India and elsewhere via Skype.

In the eight months since Meijer laid off some 400 IT employees, many have been able to work in other departments or get jobs with IBM or other partners providing IT services for the company.

But about 100 former employees will be getting extra help.

Among them is Sand Lake mother Victoria Bice. She was 19 when she started working at Meijer's corporate headquarters, where she worked her way up from the mailroom to a good-paying position in the IT department. Along the way, she met her husband Chad.

"Meijer has always been in my family. It's actually the first memory I have of moving to Grand Rapids,” Bice said Wednesday. "I planned on retiring from there and after 25 years it was, 'You know what? We could run the company without you. Thank you for your time and here's your severance.'"

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