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Workforce Solutions stepping in to help those impacted by SXSW cancellation

Those who have been laid off or fear losing a job due to the cancellation of SXSW have been asked to reach out.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Tuesday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Workforce Solutions has stepped up to help those who may have been laid off due to the cancellation of the 2020 South by Southwest festival.

"Anybody in this city that looks like they may lose a job or may lose an opportunity, please reach out to Workforce Solutions," Mayor Adler said. "Any employer that's thinking they may lay off people, please reach out to Workforce Solutions. They have programs sometimes to be able to avert the actual lay off of workers."

His announcement comes a day after SXSW announced it would be laying off about a third of its year-round staff.

"Due to the City of Austin’s unprecedented and unexpected cancellation of the SXSW 2020 events in March, SXSW has been rigorously reviewing our operations, and we are in the unimaginable position of reducing our workforce...," SXSW said on Monday. "Those of us in the business of live events know the level of trust required to execute an event of SXSW’s scale, and we are deeply sad to let people go this soon. We are planning for the future and this was a necessary, but heartbreaking step."

Mayor Adler said Workforce Solutions would be reaching out to SXSW to help.

"Workforce Solutions Capital Area connects local people to local jobs,” said Tamara Atkinson, chief executive officer at Workforce Solutions Capital Area. "When they need us, we directly connect people to jobs, with a personal touch. That’s how we ensure our people are productive and our region is prosperous."

Workforce Solutions said Austin's economy is still strong with many job openings available. As of Tuesday, it reported over 31,700 job postings in the fields of art and entertainment, hospitality and tourism alone.

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The 2019 SXSW festival brought in about $355 million.

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