Mariano's has purchased 11 Dominick's stores and four other current Dominick's locations will become Jewel stores. The remaining 57 stores in the Chicago area will close doors and more than 6,000 employees will lose their jobs
"You're throwing 6,500 people into the unemployment pot," said Bruno Belmonte. "It's already saturated to begin with, now you're throwing all of these people on top of it."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has now created a Grocery Store Task Force, whose main focus will be to help, among other things, workers affected by the closing stores.
"I think it would be a very smart move for them to hire experienced, trained workers who understand the community, who live in the community, and understand what the food business is all about," said Alderman Joe Moore.
Other businesses are also offering a helping hand.
The International Training Academy in Schaumburg is a vocational school offering skin and healthcare training programs.
The institute is offering 100 scholarships for $1,000 each to laid off Dominick's workers:.
"The idea is that we will help people who want to we will help them retrain and enter the workforce and have other opportunities, said Anastasia Usova. "It doesn't matter if they are in their 40's, 50's or 60's they can get the skills and get a job with security."
The stores will close by noon Saturday. One of the doors will remain open so that customers may pick up their pharmaceuticals.