Waterloo’s Building a Safety Net to Help Laid Off RIM Employees

As BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion prepares to lay off 5,000 workers, Waterloo, Ontario, is expected to launch a tech jobs center to help its residents.

by / September 27, 2012

Canadian-based BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) is laying off about 5,000 employees globally and one Canadian city government is planning to build a safety net for them. Partnered with not-for-profit organization Communitech, the city of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, will host a job center for laid off RIM employees at City Hall. An estimated 2,500 to 3,500 local employees will be affected by the layoffs.

“RIM has employed some of the best and brightest people in the industry,” Mayor Brenda Halloran said in a news release. “This is a wonderful opportunity to get these people back to work so they can continue doing what they do best — creating, inventing and contributing to the local and global economy.”

The city is expected to approve the decision on Oct. 1 and open the job center on Oct. 15, TheRecord.com reported. The job center, which will be called the Tech Jobs Connex Centre, will give former RIM employees access to career coaches, recruiting events and workshops.

“There are almost 1,000 technology firms including over 400 technology startups in [the] Waterloo Region who are looking for excellent candidates to join their teams,” Karen Gallant, Communitech’s senior director of talent networks, said in a news release.

A few comments on the TheRecord.com, the website that originally reported this story, indicate that some people are unhappy with the exclusive nature of the upcoming opportunity. “There are a lot more people in this region that are jobless other then [sic] RIM,” commented one reader. Another user supported the city’s plan. “Waterloo is trying to help unemployed workers and the whiners come out in full force,” Realityls wrote. “They are trying to keep talented people in the region and help local companies become more successful. Grow up!”

To read the full story and perhaps join the discussion, visit TheRecord.com.