Life After Layoffs

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When General Motors Lansing Operations reduces staff or shuts down plants, like it did earlier this month, employees are given options. Sometimes they are offered a move on to another plant, but more often than not it's a choice between being on layoff status or going into what's called the jobs bank.

For competitive reasons GM will not release the number of people currently in its jobs bank or how many were recently added when Lansing Car Assembly shut its doors. But Tuesday a handful of jobs bank employees were building a brand new playground for children at Lansing's St. Vincent home. Jan Dudas was one of them. The former electrician was phased out because of staff reduction at the Metal Fabrication Division. Dudas picked the jobs bank so she could give back to Lansing and so she could learn new skills.

GM jobs bank employees receive full pay for their community service, but it's not all good news. If they aren't assigned to a project they must stay at the jobs bank office and either wait for an assignment or wait for their paperwork to be processed. GM employees can spend up to the life of their current labor contract in the jobs bank. Dudas expects to be put back to work once GM opens its Delta Township Plant.