City of Gloucester’s Ongoing Efforts Regarding National Fish & Seafood Closure of Operations

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (May 13, 2019) – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken today announced continued discussions and employee outreach planning regarding the abrupt clousure of National Fish & Seafood’s East Main Street, Gloucester plant.

The City has learned that approximately 180 employees have been affected.  More than 50 were permanent full-time employees of National Fish & Seafood.  The remaining employees were temporary contract workers.  It is our understanding that a skeleton crew is working to address customer orders, concerns and assist with the operational transition.

Earlier today the Mayor convened a meeting to discuss options on how to best help those affected by this news – employees and customers.  The City estimates this closure has a ripple effect and that significantly more than just the employees have been impacted.  The City will continue discussions and identify ways to help all involved.

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “I’m disappointed by how National Fish & Seafood has handled the situation.  The City of Gloucester is committed to helping those individuals impacted as soon as possible.  We’ve mobilized resources and are planning an employee outreach meeting later this week and a job fair early next week for those displaced employees.  Our priority is to ensure information is readily available.”

Today’s meeting was attended by Senator Bruce Tarr, a representative from Congress Seth Moulton’s Office, the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, the Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s MassHire Rapid Response Team, Wellspring, Action, Inc., and local industry leaders.

The sudden closure did not proactively prepare employees for the transition.  Many of those affected have important questions that have yet to be addressed.  Today’s meeting allowed for all parties to identify how they could help and as a result a centralized and robust employee outreach meeting is being planned.  That outreach meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 17 in the Kyrouz Auditorium at Gloucester City Hall from 10 a.m. through 12 noon.

That outreach meeting will have information and resources available to help navigate this sudden and unexpected situation.   Although still in formation that employee outreach meeting will provide Rapid Response services which includes information and assistance on unemployment insurance, workshops that prepare employees for new jobs, resume assistance, connections and referrals to MassHire Career Centers. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to obtain information or meet with representatives from the Open Door Pantry, the Salvation Army, Action, Inc. and Wellspring.  Information regarding SNAP, housing assistance, fuel assistance, and health insurance will also be available.

Simultaneously the City is also working to plan a job fair tentatively planned for Tuesday, May 21.  Additional information and details on that will be forthcoming.   In response to Mayor Romeo Theken’s request a number of interested employers have already reached out with job opportunities.  We continue to assemble that information and ask if any local employers have job opportunities and would like to be connected with the displaced National Fish & Seafood employees please let Jim Destino, Chief Administrative Officer,jdestino@gloucester-ma.gov, and/or Jill Cahill, Community Development Director, jcahill@gloucester-ma.gov know.

For more information on Rapid Response Services contact: Ken Messina, Business Services/Rapid Response Manager, 617-626-5703, kmessina@detma.org.

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