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CFCC Working To Help Former TRU Colors Employees

By Staff Reports, posted Sep 13, 2022
After TRU Colors employees were informed last Wednesday that they’d be out of a job by Friday, local organizations have jumped in to assist them to find new roles

Cape Fear Community College is providing resources and training to help the former employees enhance their employment skills, according to a CFCC release shared Tuesday. 

The assistance is the result of a collaboration between CFCC, The Mt. Calvary Center for Leadership Development and the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board. 

"Cape Fear Community College is well-positioned to support TRU Colors employees as they take the next step in their careers," CFCC president Jim Morton said in the release. "Our workforce development team is talking with employees about training options at Cape Fear and helping them navigate the process. TRU Colors employees have already committed to changing the trajectories of their lives, and we are happy to help them continue on a positive path.”

TRU Colors closed permanently Friday after its CEO announced the brewery, which employs rival gang members, could not secure the investment funding necessary to continue. Investment funds dried up due to unfavorable media reports, the CEO said in a letter explaining the decision. 

These employees’ job prospects are somewhat slim, considering many have criminal histories. One of TRU Colors’ missions was to reduce street violence. 

Former TRU Colors chief people officer, Khalilah Olokunola, organized a “pink slip party” at the brewery to connect staff to employment resources. In a social media post, Olokunola said the party and off-boarding plan had shown “some success.” 

In the CFCC release, Olokunola said she was thankful for the new CFCC partnership.

"This is an opportunity to connect in a safe space and spark conversations that may direct employees toward a new path. Education and opportunity are great equalizers, and support and wrap-around services are key,” she said in the release. “You can't be a professional success when faced with overwhelming personal challenges. I appreciate the outpouring of support from the community, and I am hopeful the scaffolding we've put in place here and the work we've done at TRU Colors will help these individuals as they move forward."

John Downing, CFCC vice president of economic and workforce development, said the brewery wants to help its employees and welcomed assistance. "Mt. Calvary Center will provide outreach and case management services, and the CFWBD will provide financial assistance for training at CFCC to eligible TRU Colors employees. This collaborative effort will ensure TRU Colors employees have great options in the future."

Employers or those interested in assisting should contact CFCC workforce training coordinator Erin Easton at 910-362-7883 or [email protected]
 
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