When LEGO Education made its announcement to move to Boston, Massachusetts, last summer, the decision affected 25 employees at the Pittsburg office, according to Abby Fern, LEGO’s marketing director.
Out of those 25, six on the sales team will transition to work at home and still operate in their regions, two marketing team members — Brandee Johnson and Jenni Breeze — are starting LimeLight Marketing in Pittsburg, a few others have found other jobs already, and five have made the decision to relocate to Boston, which leaves about 10 employees still undecided.
This Friday at 1 p.m., LEGO Education is hosting a “job fair” of sorts for these employees with a few local employers arriving to give presentations on what they have to offer to try to entice them to stay in Pittsburg.
Instrumental in putting the event together is Blake Benson, president of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pittsburg’s economic development director.
“Not only do we want to keep the employees as employees in Pittsburg, we just want to keep them in Pittsburg as families,” Benson said. “They’re all very supportive of the community and their kids are in our schools, they go to our churches and they’re just very big parts of the community.”
Benson said at press time that three local companies are visiting with the employees with the potential to increase that number up to seven. Currently, Watco, Names & Numbers and Peerless from Fort Scott are visiting and have openings which go in hand with the professions found at LEGO.
“We’ve invited companies to come in and spend 30 minutes visiting with the LEGO employees as a group and then just kind of describing what the company does, what availabilities they have and typically what they look for,” Benson said. “If any of those employees want to visit after that 30 minutes, we’ll have an office set up to the side that the company rep and the employee can maybe go visit privately.”
However, Benson said they’ll add more companies to the list should they want to arrive at LEGO on Friday. He said even if there are no positions currently available, he said LEGO will be here until June, which is still nine months away and encouraged companies to come be a part of the event.
“It’s a good no-obligation, no-pressure way for the companies to visit with the LEGO employees just to let them know what’s out there,” Benson said.
Fern is one of those employees who plans to stay in Pittsburg — primarily for her family — and she said she knew she wanted to stay immediately.
“Pittsburg is my home,” Fern said. “For me personally, I’m just beginning my job search, so Friday is a bit of a kickoff for me.”
Fern said LEGO has been great in the process with assisting the employees in finding new jobs, even though they were all offered jobs in Boston. She also said Benson’s support and leadership has been tremendously helpful as well, as he has gotten to know the employees personally.
“They’re our neighbors, we care about them and we just want to do anything we can to help them,” Benson said. “This is a tough time for them and it’s time for the community to step up and help where we can.”