Pandemic forces 365 permanent layoffs at area YMCAs

Pandemic forces 365 permanent layoffs at area YMCAs

Some 365 people have lost their jobs at the YMCA of Greater Rochester as a result of COVID-19 and its economic impact, a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filed with the state Department of Labor last year and amended last week shows.

“Due to the ongoing financial impacts of the pandemic, and to remain compliant with New York state and federal WARN Acts, any employee whose furlough began on March 15, 2020, and remained on furlough, was sent a WARN notice the week of Feb. 1,” YMCA officials said in a statement. “This amended WARN notice was sent to inform employees their furlough turned into a permanent lay-off. These layoffs are a direct result of the effects of the long-term COVID-19 crisis and the YMCA of Greater Rochester’s inability to access any Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) funding.”

Officials noted that a lack of PPP, as well as capacity limitations remaining at one-third, hinder the YMCA’s ability to bring staff fully back to prior levels.

According to the WARN notice, temporary furloughs that began on March 15, 2020, for 365 employees at 11 sites in the Finger Lakes became permanent on Feb. 3, 2021. Temporary furloughs that began on March 15, 2020, for 18 employees at a Corning Branch also became permanent on Feb. 3.

The breakdown of layoffs includes:
Furloughs lasting longer than six months will likely be carried out at the following YMCA locations:

• Association Office, Rochester, 3 affected employees
• Bay View Branch, Webster, 58 affected employees
• Before/After School Program Division, Penfield, 12 affected employees
• Camp Arrowhead, Pittsford, unspecified number of employees
• Camp Cory, Victor, closing
• Carlson MetroCenter Branch, Rochester, 33 affected employees
• Eastside Branch, Penfield, 72 affected employees
• Lewis Street YMCA Child Care, Rochester, 2 affected employees
• Maplewood Branch, Rochester, 16 affected employees
• Monroe Branch, Rochester, 18 affected employees, plant closing
• Northwest Branch, Rochester, 46 affected employees
• Schottland Family YMCA, Pittsford, 82 affected employees
• Southwest Branch, Rochester, unspecified number of employees
• Victor Active Family Center, Victor, unspecified number of employees
• Westside Branch, Rochester, 23 affected employees

The original WARN notice stated that the total number of employees impacted at all sites was 2,090.

The long-awaited $45 million Schottland Family branch opened in September 2019, just six months before the pandemic shut down most in-person activities, including gyms and similar sites. The branch is the second largest in the nation. The three-story, 140,000-square-foot branch features a daycare center and playground, a senior center, three gymnasiums that can be divided to make four, running and walking tracks, a golf simulator inside the turf gym and a community wing with a teaching kitchen and art studio.

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