March 2, 2011


Northeast Offers Special Sessions to Assist Gildan Workers

In early February, Gildan-Prewett officials announced that they would be closing “all remaining operations” in Fort Payne because of global competition. When the facility closes in April, the result will be the loss of about 280 jobs. Upon getting this announcement the Career Centers of Alabama in Fort Payne under the direction of Linda McCain worked closely with Selina Shrader, Gildan’s Human Resource Supervisor, and other Gildan management to organize small group sessions for the workers. Director McCain and Supervisor Shrader invited Northeast Alabama Community College to be a part of these information sessions.

Various staff members at Northeast met with the workers in conjunction with the Gildan management and Career Centers of Alabama to present to the workers all of the options that are available to them at the college campus. Even though the workers are entitled to unemployment assistance through TAA certification, they can also apply for federal financial aid primarily Pell Grants. Financial aid sessions are held in the Student Center in SC111 every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.; however, extra sessions designed for the convenience of these workers have been scheduled. These extra sessions will be held every Tuesday night in April at 6:00 p.m. on Northeast’s campus in the Student Center in room 111. These sessions conducted by the financial aid staff will assist workers in filling out FAFSAs (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) used to apply for Pell Grants. Anyone interested in coming to college is also welcome to attend these sessions. The participants must bring 2009 W2s and 2009 Federal tax forms to apply for the summer semester or 2010 W2s and 2010 Federal tax forms to apply for the fall semester. For any further information, please contact Nick Willmon at

Supervisor Shrader and Director McCain also agreed with Northeast staff that many of the workers returning to college or working on completing a GED would benefit from some workshops on computer basics. Northeast’s Technology Learning Center has scheduled sessions on various days and at various times during March, April and May. Click here for
Schedule of Training Sessions for Gildan Workers.

Northeast also offers College Readiness Classes for those prospective students who feel that some refresher courses would be beneficial. Any student wishing to take advantage of this program can contact Chad Gorham, Director of Adult Basic Education at or Sherry Whitten, Director of the College and Career Planning Center

Dr. David Campbell, President of Northeast, stated, “ We sincerely regret the loss of these Gildan jobs, and Northeast stands ready to offer whatever assistance we can for these workers. We have many programs that can serve the workers well as they prepare to reenter the workforce. Our staff has made a commitment to provide as many services as possible to make this transition easy for these workers.”

Tonie Niblett, Dean of Student Services, said, “It is very important to Northeast that these workers feel as comfortable as possible with our facilities and staff. It is our desire that by offering these special sessions on College Readiness, financial aid, and basic computer skills that the students will get to know us and realize that Northeast can be a vital resource in their retraining. Northeast’s educational and support services are second to none and are ready to work with the Gildan workers.”

For additional information, contact Niblett at or call ext. 325.

Pictured in the Technology Learning Center on the NACC campus are Tonie Niblett, Dean of Student Services, seated, left, and Judith Lea, Director of the center, standing, assisting students.