Genova workers' long-term status is still uncertain


The Paducah Genova Products facility in the I-24 Logistics Park is currently idled since normal operations were suspended in late November due to what the company described as a shortage of raw materials.

As laid-off workers from Paducah's Genova Products facility file for unemployment benefits, their long-term status with the Michigan-based company has not been announced.

City officials were told by Genova representatives Dec. 4 that the entire workforce at the Paducah plant, believed to be in excess of 100 employees, had been laid off.

In a news release the following day, Joe Pusateri, Genova director of operations, said production was suspended in late November due to a raw materials shortage that had lasted longer than originally anticipated.

According to Pusateri, the company's objective "has and continues to be to resume normal operations so our most valued associates can return to work."

In a subsequent news release earlier this week, Pusateri clarified that employees have not been told the company is planning a permanent shutdown, but "did however encourage everyone to do what is best for their family, which may include seeking gainful employment until we sort out our situation."

Newspaper reports indicate layoffs have also occurred in Genova facilities in Rensselaer, Indiana, and Faribault, Minnesota.

In addition to Paducah, Rensselaer and Faribault, Genova has locations in Sparks, Nevada, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and in Davison, Michigan, where it is headquartered.

Local officials with the Kentucky Career Center and West Kentucky Workforce Board have indicated Genova employees are eligible for and have been filing for unemployment benefits.

While the city requested that the workforce board deploy its "rapid response" team to provide additional resources and services to the Genova workers, that has not been done since the employees are still available to be recalled.

In the meantime, the local career center office has been assisting Genova workers in filing unemployment claims, according to Jon Pendergrass, the center's manager.

"We can help them with the filing and answer questions here," he said.

Claims can be filed by telephone, and via any computer with internet access.

"It's a fairly simple process," Pendergrass said. "Now, if they have any problems I highly recommend they come in here and we can walk them through the process or help explain what some of the questions mean.

"We're available to help. We just don't want anybody to think they're alone."

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