Today rapid response efforts have begun for nearly 70 workers in Fort Kent. They were laid off this week by Creative Apparel Associates, a military protective clothing company that is temporarily shutting down operations in Fort Kent and a few sites around Maine. A packed parking lot outside of the Fort Kent municipal building, where INSIDE nearly 70 workers aren’t at work today at the Creative Apparel Associates site at the Industrial Park on Kent Road. All are laid by the military apparel company, told the company is in between contracts and with no work to be done…no need to keep workers on. In these uncertain economic times, these layoffs ARE CERTAINLY not good news. Michael Woodman is the Rapid Response Coordinator of the Maine Department Of Labor says “anytime you have 1,2 even more workers dislocated it’s a tough time.” Woodman is now tasked with rapid response…helping these workers apply for unemployment benefits, look for new jobs or go back to school to develop new careers. “When we hear of the layoffs, or even before the layoff occurs we go into the employer, contact their employees and talk to them about various services that can be provided through the Department of Labor,” says Woodman. Creative Apparel is based in Belmont Maine. Woodman says along with Fort Kent he knows of layoffs at the company’s locations in Harmony and Dover-Foxcroft. Fort Kent Town Manager Don Guimond tells Newssource 8 “Hopefully this is a temporary closing and that he hopes the company will reopen sometime this year.” Woodman says he’s been in talks with managers of Creative Apparel Associates who insist the layoffs are only temporary and some of the workers will be recalled BACK TO WORK in the future. When that will happen no one knows. In the meantime, its important fine tune skill sets. Although some workers might get that call in the future, for now he says having any people out of work is still a BIG HIT to Fort Kent’s community and economy. “We never wanna see a loss of jobs, we’re always looking for job creation, economic development new things coming in to the area when you have negatives…uh TOUGH,” says Woodman.