Local economic development officials say the 40 jobs lost at GMAC last week may have been a best-case scenario.

In late October, bankrupt mortgage company Residential Capital LLC, the parent company of GMAC Mortgage, announced it was selling its mortgage servicing to Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC.

ResCap and 50 of its subsidiaries had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2012. A New York bankruptcy court will consider the proposed sale Nov. 19.

The Ocwen buyout had caused plenty of nervousness surrounding the GMAC campus on Hammond Ave., in Waterloo — and for groups like the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

The 40 layoffs announced last week means that 96 percent of the approximately 950 GMAC employees in Waterloo are keeping their jobs.

Brittany Jungck, the Alliance’s director of business development, said the 96 percent "far exceeded our hopes. We were pleased that 96 percent of people left work Wednesday with a job."

We too are pleased that the overwhelming majority at GMAC will continue working.

That said, 40 more people are now without jobs in the Cedar Valley.

The Alliance & Chamber is holding a job fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo for employees who lost their jobs.

Similar events were held after other recent layoffs around the area. A job fair featuring 23 employers was held last month for former employees of the local Hostess operation after the company closed. About 85 former employees were invited.

The GCVAC worked in conjunction with IowaWORKS in finding matches between employers and those looking for work.

Last summer the Alliance hosted a job fair after more than 200 PFGBest and MyVerona employees were suddenly out of jobs following the collapse of Peregrine Financial Group in Cedar Falls.

It is always disconcerting when large numbers of jobs are lost in a community.

On the brighter side, we are fortunate to have organizations that are responding quickly in assisting those affected — such as the GCVAC and IowaWORKS.

We appreciate those efforts as well as those of the employers who are present at these various job fairs.

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