About 80 in the Digital Domain community attend outreach sessions in Port St. Lucie

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Scared and lost. Some walked into the outreach session at the Port St. Lucie Community Center feeling that way.

They walked out armed with knowledge on things like applying for unemployment assistance and rolling over their 401K.

About 80 people attended the session. Workforce Solutions and the Treasure Coast Food Bank organized it.

The outreach session inside the Port St. Lucie Community Center offered emergency advice to people affected by the Digital Domain lay-offs. People like Dave Frye, who worked in IT.

"We don't want to leave. We love Florida," said Frye.

Frye and his wife were two of the 280 co-workers who lost their jobs at Digital Domain Media Group in Port St. Lucie last Friday.

The kind of information taught today has now become essential for their survival. Frye recalls sitting down with his wife and young sons to break the bad news.

"Mommy and daddy, we pretty much lost our jobs today. Don't worry. We're going to work this through," Frye told his kids. "The first thing they asked ... excuse me," Frye said, as his voice cracked and tears formed in his eyes. "Do we have to move?"

Frye says he and his wife have to find jobs before they can answer their kids' question. Michael Hosein has a wife and two kids too. He was a senior systems engineer at Digital Domain.

"You could spend a lot of energy crying, but that wouldn't be good use," said Hosein

He says his wife is nervous about what's next; her income alone doesn't cover the family's expenses. Hosein started applying for jobs less than an hour after the lay-off announcement.

"I actually had the experience because this is my second layoff in four years," he said.

Inside the session, experts spoke. Employers held a job fair. Outside, the Treasure Coast Food Bank handed out water, food and essential items like soap.

"What I saw was a lot of emotions still. I saw a lot of hugging. a lot of tears. I'm not sure that all of the emotions have set in yet," said Odaly Victorio, with Workforce Solutions.

Tomorrow will mark exactly one week since the layoffs. Some of the workers have already left town.

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