Senator Kissel Seeks Assistance from Department of Labor for Employees Affected by Bernie’s Electronics Bankruptcy Filing

January 15, 2010

Hartford, CT – State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) today sent a letter to the state Department of Labor Commissioner Patricia Mayfield asking the department to provide assistance to the employees who will be laid off as a result of Bernie’s Electronics bankruptcy filing. The company filed for bankruptcy yesterday, Thursday January 14th, and Senator Kissel has requested that the Department of Labor make its Rapid Response Team available immediately to assist laid off workers with job assistance, unemployment benefits and future training.

“The news that Bernie’s will be closing its doors forever is a blow to our local, and state, economy,” said Senator Kissel. “Unfortunately small business closings in our state have been all too common in recent months. Businesses like Bernie’s have built the foundation of our state economy for generations. Connecticut must do more to encourage future business growth and job retention.”

The Enfield-based electronics retailer was founded in 1947. Of Bernie’s 15 retail locations, 9 are in Connecticut and company officials say all 15 stores will close. The closures will affect some 350 employees. The State Department of Labor has informed Senator Kissel that they have already reached out to Bernie’s to offer their help and stand ready to provide assistance to any and all employees in need.

“I am grateful to the state Department of Labor for offering their assistance to Bernie’s employees and encourage employees to seek assistance as this process moves forward,” said Senator Kissel. “If employees need help they can call my office at 860-240-0531 and we’ll get them connected with the folks at the Department of Labor.” Senator Kissel stated.