In response to the Erie Coke's decision to shut down the plant, Pennsylvania's Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) has activated its Rapid Response Services (RRS) to help affected workers.

Impacted workers are invited to meet a team of RRS specialists on Friday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. at the UE 506 Union Hall, 3923 Main St., Lawrence Park.

The meetings are open to Erie Coke Plant employees only.

RRS specialists and PA CareerLink staff will provide information on programs and services including unemployment compensation, health and pension benefits, financial credit counseling, training programs, job search activities, education services, and social service programs, among others.

Any workers who cannot attend are encouraged to contact PA CareerLink.

RRS activities typically start when L&I learns of a closure or layoff through the company or the media. It can also be activated in response to job or business loss when a natural disaster occurs. Affected employees are also referred to PA CareerLink for post-layoff services.

Services are state and federally funded and are provided at no additional charge to the employers and employees, regardless of the reason for the layoffs.