Humpy Wheeler seeks to help laid-off racing workers
It's estimated that more than 700 people, most from the Charlotte-area, have recently lost jobs in the racing business as team sponsorships dwindle. Humpy Wheeler, the former President of Speedway Motorsports, has created a task force to help unemployed fabricators, welders and other skilled laborers find jobs. The industry group plans to distribute information about unemployment benefits and job re-training to those laid off. Wheeler says the long-term strategy is to lure automotive workshops and defense manufacturers to the area with the promise of a ready workforce. "These guys are used to working on heavy pressure, tight schedules. They're used to doing things themselves, no automation involved. Finding this kind of talent is really, really difficult to do," says Wheeler. The task force has met once and plans to meet with Chamber of Commerce groups early next year.