Local man helping people at Toyota Financial find jobs

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 7:40 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A local man wants to help the more than 600 people impacted by the closure of Toyota Financial Services in Cedar Rapids.

On Wednesday, the company announced it’s closing its Cedar Rapids headquarters by the end of 2022. Those jobs will relocate to Texas.

Casey O’Connor started a Facebook group to create a network for those 600 employees. He’s a former GoDaddy employee who led a similar effort when that company laid off more than 100 workers last year. It helped find jobs for people who had nowhere to turn.

The group has close to 300 members since it started yesterday. People will get resume help, learn how to brand themselves, get coaching and possible job leads. And it’s all done for free.

O’Connor told KCRG-TV9 too many times companies will lay off workers without helping them find a place to land.

In a statement, Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart said, “The loss of Toyota Financial Services is unfortunate news for not only those employees but for our entire community. Employees are being offered attractive retention bonuses and relocation benefits, however, many will likely wish to stay in the community. We will work closely with TFS leadership to do whatever we can to assist in helping those individuals find employment locally. While this is an unexpected loss, we feel positive about our city’s economic outlook, including a number of exciting projects in various stages of development that we hope to be able to share publicly soon.”

In a statement, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance said “The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance consistently works on behalf of the local business community with one of our focuses being on business and workforce retention efforts. Yesterday after Toyota Financial Services’ announcement, we immediately reached out to other financial service companies in the area to gauge their workforce needs and determine where employment opportunities may be available to keep these employees here in our community. The Economic Alliance will work on making these connections and providing resources where needed.”

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