Toys R Us announced yesterday plans to close or sell all of its U.S. stores as it struggles through the bankruptcy process and increasing competition nationwide. The company employed 355 people at the height of the past holiday season in Frederick County, including 320 at their distribution center on Geoffrey Way and 35 at their retail store on W. Patrick Street in the City of Frederick.
Frederick County Workforce Services is ready to respond with their rapid response team dedicated to assisting employees affected by layoffs. “We’ve reached out to the leadership at both locations and let them know we are ready to assist their employees during this transition,” said Frederick County Workforce Services Director Michelle Day. “We have resources available to assist with all aspects of the job search process, including retraining. The majority of individuals we assist are able to successfully secure jobs.”
Frederick County Office of Economic Development Director Helen Propheter said the County is committed to assisting employees as they transition to other opportunities in this industry. “The Toys R Us Distribution Center is part of the 17 percent that makes up Frederick County’s trade and transportation sector. This sector is the largest industry in Frederick County by employment. As our County continues to add jobs at a faster rate than most of the state, this industry sector is an important industry that we want to continue to help foster and grow. We are hopeful that we can transition these employees into similar job openings elsewhere in the County.”
"Anytime a business closes its doors here in Frederick, our primary interest is in assistance to the employees being displaced and in helping the property owner re-tenant the space with another quality business,” said Director for the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development Richard Griffin. “Retail today is a particularly difficult industry with a lot of movement from year to year as web-based sales continue to increase and as trends change. Frederick's Golden Mile remains a top retail corridor and the City remains committed to its long-term success,” Griffin added.
Employees affected by these closures who would like more information about how Frederick County Workforce Services can assist, may contact www.frederickworks.com or call 301-600-2255.