Contact: Karl Hertz
A taskforce created by Memorial Hospital of Converse County to create resources and support for those recently laid off in the coal, oil, gas and uranium industries wrapped up its work last week. Created in April, the group of community leaders has met to determine ways various organizations could offer support to those impacted by the layoffs. Ultimately, a resource guide was created that can be found at http://www.cityofdouglas.org/DocumentCenter/View/578 and has been made available at the hospital and other locations throughout the community.
"The resource guide has been well received by the doctors and clinics," said Terry Moss, Practice Administrator at Memorial Hospital Converse County.
Most of the last meeting of the task force on May 13 was spent discussing the continuing effects of the layoffs in the community from an increased number of houses on the market to a decrease in the number of patients visiting the hospital and providers. Edward Jones Representative Josh Bauer said he's had some walk-ins to his business and has helped a number of people determine the best path forward because of the layoffs.
"People are tapping into 401(k)s long before they anticipated," Bauer said. "I see the ramifications being long-reaching. They will be retiring differently."
To help address the financial woes of residents, Memorial Hospital of Converse County is offering the Dave Ramsey Financial training for the reduced price of $25. Registration is open through May 27 for the nine-week program that begins June 7.
Solutions for Life is also hosting a fundraiser 5K May 26 at 6 p.m. to raise funds to not only continue its work, but also address the increased need for mental health care expected in the community around the recent layoffs.
Kings Portion partnered with Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies and Wyoming Community Gas to create additional food distribution opportunities. The first will took place Monday, May 16 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds.
"Every county has been hit, but in different ways," said Kim Rightmer, East Central Region representative for the Wyoming Business Council. "Converse County has probably been hit the hardest."
While there will continue to be ripple effects from the layoffs and the budget reductions from both the county to the state governments, the task force officials believe that their efforts to address any immediate needs of those impacted by the layoffs in the community are complete. While the group will no longer officially continue to meet, additional meetings may be called as needed if there are new developments to the situation in the community.