Workforce Development’s Rapid Response helps more than 200 displaced UFI workers

Workforce Development’s Rapid Response helps displaced workers and other job seekers

When Sal Monica, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) business service representative received an early morning call from Mario Gonzalez, United Furniture Industries (UFI) Director of Operations, he did not hesitate.

Gonzalez, along with the 300 UFI employees he supervised, had just received a layoff notification from their employer and knew that he could reach out to WDB for Rapid Response assistance. Local employers such as Ashley Furniture, Big Lots, Walmart and Plastipak Packaging began to recruit displaced UFI employees almost immediately. The event and job fair, which took place on Dec. 8, through a partnership with Victor Valley College’s High Desert Training Center, had nearly 400 participants and 37 resource providers and employers.

“Our Rapid Response support work is a reminder of how quickly we can come together to put resources in place when the community needs us,” said First District San Bernardino County Supervisor Col. Paul Cook (Ret.).

Resources included individualized job search and resume assistance, and information on veterans services, skills certifications and on-the-job training, and financial assistance for training.

WDB also will provide information on insurance benefits, the County’s three America’s Job Centers of California, COBRA, 401(k) options, the Affordable Care Act and child support assistance.

The job and resource fair are a Title 1 financially-assisted program and an equal opportunity employer program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. For federal funding disclosure information, visit