A worker support team arrived in Kentville on Thursday, Jan. 22 and began preparing to meet with staff affected by the pending layoffs at ACA Co-operative Ltd. and Eastern Protein Foods. The team is led by Labour and Workforce Development and Service Canada, and includes the departments of Economic and Rural Development, and Community Services, and the Kings Community Economic Development Agency. “This is an extremely trying time for the people at ACA and Eastern Protein, and we are there to ensure they receive any outstanding salaries, vacation pay and severance, and to help them find other jobs,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. Affected workers can attend an information session next week. During that meeting, Service Canada staff will advise employees who are being laid off about their Employment Insurance entitlements. Labour and Workforce Development staff talk about support available from the provincial government. The employees will be assessed to determine their skills and employability status. Training and support will be developed to help them improve skills, get certified in trades they learned informally on the job, and strengthen essential workplace skills such as literacy and math. On July 1, under a federal-provincial agreement, Nova Scotia will take on responsibility for training and skills development under the federal Employment Insurance Act. The agreement will help Nova Scotia develop training and other programs to strengthen the provincial workforce and meet the demands of a changing economy.