Exel To Close New Holland Parts-Supply Operation, Idling 97 Workers

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exel will close its parts-supply operation in New Holland at year-end, idling all 97 workers, a notice filed with the state says.

The 300 Diller Ave. operation is being shut down because Exel’s contract to provide parts to CNH Industrial is expiring.

CNH Industrial has decided to bring that activity in-house, said Exel spokeswoman Lynn Anderson.

Exel is trying to place the affected workers at another Exel facility in York, she said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/exel-to-close-new-holland-parts-supply-operation-idling-workers/article_7792e96a-6f42-11e4-a18b-679e760c6626.html

Offset Paperback Manufacturers Details Plans For Layoffs In Dallas Township

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Offset Paperback Manufacturers plans to shut down its sheet-fed and pre-press operations at its Dallas Township facility as the publishing industry continues to struggle, a WARN notice indicates.

The company, one of the largest paperback book manufacturers in the world, announced late last week that 37 employees received notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act giving them 60 days notice that jobs will be lost.

More details about the job cuts were revealed in a WARN notice Jack O’Donnell, chief operating officer for Offset Paperback, sent to Leona Annaguey, section chief of trade, rapid response and special programs for the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/offset-details-plans-for-layoffs-1.1789532

Hazleton Passes Budget With A Cut In Property Tax

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON, PA — Not only did a council majority avoid layoffs and deferred paydays for city workers Thursday night, the majority also amended Mayor Joe Yannuzzi’s proposed budget to include a property tax decrease.

Yannuzzi had said he would have to lay off City Hall employees and have police, firefighters and road crews work without pay if council didn’t adopt a stormwater maintenance fee because he already included it as revenue in the 2014 budget. And he needed a balanced budget in order to secure a tax anticipation note — a bank loan to tide the city over until tax revenues start to come in the spring. The loan also would cover salary expenses through the end of 2013.

At a meeting filled with outbursts, shouting matches and arguments among council members, council voted 3-2 to adopt the maintenance fee on a sliding scale that depends on the size of a property owner’s lot and other factors. The owner of an average size lot will have to pay a $25 fee in 2014.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1035150/Hazleton-passes-budget-with-a-cut-in-property-tax

Drop In Enrollment At Kutztown University Twice That Of State System

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost 300 fewer students enrolled in Kutztown University in September compared to the previous year.

Since a 2010 peak, Kutztown’s enrollment has dropped 12 percent. The enrollment decline at Kutztown is twice the average drop – 6 percent – seen by the 13 other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

All 14 state universities have been hard hit by funding cuts that usually mean more layoffs and program cuts.

Despite the drop in enrollment at Kutztown, there are no program cuts or layoffs contemplated for the coming school year, university spokesman Matt Santos said Monday.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515881

AOL’s Local News Sites To Lay Off Up To 500

NEW YORK — AOL Inc. is laying off up to half the workforce at its Patch local news sites and shuttering or consolidating roughly 150 of the 900 sites while looking for partners for others.

Up to 500 of Patch’s 1,000 employees will go in the layoffs, which started on Friday with 350 people getting pink slips. In all, the layoffs amount to about 9 percent of AOL’s total workforce of 5,500.

AOL Inc. CEO Tim Armstrong co-founded Patch, an ambitious experiment in local news meant to compete with newspapers, in 2007. AOL bought it in 2009 after Tim Armstrong had taken over the helm of the New York-based Internet company.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/business/759140/AOLs-local-news-sites-to-lay-off-up-to-500

More Than 3,700 Philadelphia School Employees Are Being Laid Off

English: South Philadelphia High School, taken...

English: South Philadelphia High School, taken from Broad Street, with snow in the foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Friday that the School District had begun mailing layoff notices to 3,783 employees, informing them they will lose their jobs July 1 because of the district’s financial crisis.

The list includes 676 teachers, 283 counselors, 127 assistant principals, and 1,202 noontime aides.

“These … employees are more than numbers: these are people — professionals — who play important roles in the lives of thousands of students throughout our city,” Hite said at a news briefing.

He called the layoffs “nothing less than catastrophic for our schools and students.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130608_Phila_sends_layoff_notices_to_assistant_principals.html#QamVcubfvjJ7k5Of.99

Northern Berks Regional To Cut 1 Officer, Keep 2 Older Cars

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bowing to pressure to cut costs, the Northern Berks Regional Police Commission is going to trim one police officer and forgo plans to replace two of the department’s older cars.

The commission unanimously approved a $1.95 million budget Wednesday that keeps spending at 2012 levels and is nearly $290,000 less than the draft version presented earlier this month.

The police commission, composed of elected officials from Ontelaunee and Maidencreek townships and Leesport, said the municipalities could not afford to pay more for police coverage in 2013 and earlier this month asked the department to find places to cut costs.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=439234

Camden Takes First Step In Laying Off Entire Police Department

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd submitted a plan this afternoon to the state Civil Service Commission to lay off the city’s entire police department, paving the way for a county-run force.

A source knowledgeable about the matter said no layoffs would occur until the new department has at least 250 officers patrolling the streets of Camden.

Once fully operational, the county force is expected to number about 400 – about 140 more officers than are on the present city police force.

Camden County officials, citing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, yesterday extended their deadline for receiving applications for the new force by six weeks to Jan. 15.  They have said they would only rehire up to 49 percent of the current roster so that the terms of the existing union contract do not extend to the new department.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121129_Camden_takes_first_step_in_laying_off_entire_police_department.html

General Dynamics To Lay Off One-Quarter Of Workers At Scranton Munitions Plant

General Dynamics will lay off about one-quarter of the workers at its Scranton munitions plant by the end of the year.

The defense conglomerate, which is based near Washington, D.C., reported it will reduce its workforce from 245 to 185 in three increments between October and December. The 60 layoffs will take place as work is completed on two contracts for production of 120mm mortar shell bodies, said Laurie Van Brocklin, a General Dynamics spokeswoman.

“We regret the impact that the action has on employees,” Ms. Van Brocklin said. “We are hopeful, with successful bids on mortar bodies contracts, that we will be able to rectify that.”

The layoffs will leave the 500,000-square-foot plant with fewer than half the employees it had when General Dynamics acquired it six years ago.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/general-dynamics-to-lay-off-one-quarter-of-workers-at-scranton-munitions-plant-1.1359821

Allentown School Taxes To Rise 2.6 Percent

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Questions. Motions. Votes.

Then silence swallowed the room as the audience counted and realized the Allentown School Board had rejected Russ Mayo’s first budget as superintendent in a stunning 5-4 vote Thursday.

“OK,” board President Robert E. Smith Jr. said. “Now what do we do? We need a budget. We need to do something.”

When another idea failed, the directors voted again on Mayo’s spending plan, which raises taxes 2.6 percent, or 1.3 mills, to 49.3 mills for the next school year. This time they passed it.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-allentown-schools-budget-627-20120628,0,4984180.story

Williamsport Cuts 35 School Positions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILLIAMSPORT, PA - Thirty-five positions are eliminated under a $75.5 million budget approved by the Williamsport Area School Board for the next fiscal year.

The board also is increasing its property tax by .339 of a mill to balance the budget, approved by a 5-2 vote this week.

Faced with a multi-million dollar deficit due to decreased or flat state subsidies against rising personnel, insurance and pension costs, the board voted 6-1 to eliminate 15 teaching jobs and 20 support staff. Eight of the 45 took voluntary layoff. The layoffs are effective July 1.

“Everyone is not happy … for the number that we furloughed, but it could have been worse,” said Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Kelley.

Read more: http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/539537/Williamsport-cuts-35-school-positions.html?nav=5009

Scranton To Return Part Of ‘Free Money’ For Firefighters

After learning the hard way that closed fire stations can slow responses to fires, city officials last month celebrated an almost $8.2 million federal grant that would pay for recalling laid-off firefighters and hiring more.

Now, they plan to reject about a third of the money.

The grant was enough to pay for calling back 29 laid-off firefighters plus one on military leave and for adding 20 new firefighters – a total of 50 – for two years, but Mr. Doherty decided to decline the money for the new firefighters because the city could not afford to keep paying them after the two years and because the city would have to pay unemployment benefits when they were laid off.

It is unclear whether the city will be able to afford to keep all the other 29 after two years.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-to-return-part-of-free-money-for-firefighters-1.1331750

Former Bethlehem Steel Property To Idle

 

BETHLEHEM STEEL PLANT AT SPARROWS POINT - NARA...

BETHLEHEM STEEL PLANT AT SPARROWS POINT – NARA – 546882 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The owner of the financially ailing Sparrows Point steel plant is idling operations there, warning 1,975 workers Thursday that they would be laid off starting next month.

The news, which casts doubt on the future of the Baltimore County facility that was once owned by Bethlehem Steel, came as RG Steel is shopping the steel mill and its other assets to potential buyers.

RG Steel informed the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations that layoffs would begin June 4 and continue through June 18. The state said the company would be laying off 1,714 hourly and 261 salaried workers, losses that would be a significant blow to the economy.

For years, the plant has faced uncertainty before last-minute deals salvaged the mill. RG Steel is the latest owner to try to sustain steel production at the once-flourishing facility.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-allentown-sparrows-point-idle-20120525,0,7750660.story

Cumberland Valley School District Considers Larger Elementary Classroom Size

The Cumberland Valley School District is facing a $6.7 million budget shortfall for the 2011-2012 school year but is not considering redistricting or closing schools.  However, there are 17 teachers retiring who may not be replaced and that would lead to larger elementary class sizes.  Hiring nine new teachers would cost the school district $1 million and is part of a possible compromise plan to keep class sizes below a certain level.

The board does not want to increase taxes and is looking at all options to cut spending, including teacher and administrator wage freezes.  If teachers took a one year wage freeze it would save the district $1 million.  Teachers have not volunteered to do so at this time.  Administration wage freezes would save the district $177,000.  The board is also shelving a contract that would have given teachers 3.15 percent raises over the next four years.  The board will begin renegotiating with the teachers unions.

The Cumberland Valley School District is located on Harrisburg’s West Shore with the principal town being Mechanicsburg.  The district has about 7,800 students.  There are seven elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school and some administration buildings.  The district was recognized in 2007 for the number of students achieving high PSSA scores and having a relatively low per-pupil expenditure.  In 2011 Cumberland Valley was ranked 23rd out of Pennsylvania’s 498 school districts.

Camden Layoffs Become Reality

Census Bureau map of Camden, New Jersey

Image via Wikipedia

After months of talking about layoffs and balancing the budget, Camden now has far fewer municipal employees.  168 police, 67 firefighters and 100 other city workers were let go last week. (That represents about 25% of the city’s employees)  This is an effort to close Camden’s $26.5 million dollar budget deficit. (For a point of reference, Norristown’s entire 2011 budget is $25.5 million dollars).

The good news is that no spike in crime has occurred, yet.  However, as one astute online commenter pointed out, wait until summer.  It is too cold out now and people are staying indoors.  This summer, when it hot and people are outside, things will get dicey.  There is certainly something to be said for that theory.

Camden can not be compared to other suburbs their size.  Generally, suburbs do not have the inner city problems that Camden does.  Camden is certainly in a class by itself when you study their demographics and crime statistics.  The crime rate and abject poverty are startling. 

Another well made point was that Camden is not an island.  It is surrounded with other suburbs and criminals are not stopped by the city line.  Not good news for Camden’s affluent neighbors like Cherry Hill and Haddonfield, to name a few.           

Let us hope that a solution can be found to resolve Camden’s budget problems before the warmer weather hits!

Camden, New Jersey: Enter At Your Own Risk

Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest citie...

Image via Wikipedia

Camden, New Jersey was just ranked the second most dangerous city in the United States.  A 2009 estimate census showed Camden’s population at 78,790.  Camden has a police force of 373 or one officer for every 211 people (This figure does not include civilian employees). The US average is one officer per 333 people.  The land area of the city is 8.8 square miles. 

Six months ago, 50 new officers were hired to beef up security for the beleaguered city.  Now it appears that on January 18th, up to 180 officers could be laid off.  Camden is financially distressed and is asking the officers to take a 20% pay cut.  Police sources say the pay cut approaches 35% with all total concessions.  Some of the new officers are wondering why they were hired in the first place.  On a positive note, there are other cities lining up to recruit any laid off Camden cops.  Nashville, Atlanta and Norfolk are interested in hiring any Camden law enforcement budget casualties. 

Camden has been in a free fall for decades.  Major employers like RCA, Campbell’s Soup and New York Shipbuilding employed well over 50,000 people.  Camden’s population peaked in 1950 at 124,555 residents.  The 2009 estimate shows a net loss of 45,765 residents since 1950 or about 37%.  By comparison, the state of New Jersey’s population has nearly doubled since 1950. 

41.7% of Camden residents lived in poverty in 2008.  Camden was ranked as American’s poorest city in 2006 when 52% of its residents lived in poverty.  By contrast, New Jersey had the nations second highest per capita personal income in 2008, the highest percentage of millionaire households and is second in the US for towns/cities with per capital incomes above the national average (76.4%).

Camden’s median household income was estimated at $24,283 per year in 2008 (NJ $70,378).  The estimated per capita income for Camden in 2008 was $10,771.  In April 2010 the unemployment rate in Camden was 18.1%, compared to 9.6% for the state of New Jersey.  

Camden scored a 967.6 crime index on City-data.com for 2009.  There were 34 murders.  In 2008 Camden scored 1114.6 and had 54 murders.  As we learned in my earlier post about crime stats, a score of over 700 is considered HIGH and a score about 1000 is considered VERY HIGH.

So what will become of Camden if, worst case scenario, 48% of their officers are laid off!  Or even if only 25% are laid off.  I shudder to think!

Enter at your own risk! 

(Demographic data taken from Wikipedia and City-data.com.)

Harrisburg To Layoff 10 Firefighters

Recreation of the flag of the city of Harrisbu...

Image via Wikipedia

Mayor Linda Thompson announced today that she has formally notified 10 city firemen they will be laid off early in 2011. 

Mayor Thompson has also announced the closure of one fire station.  This will leave Harrisburg with 74 Fire Department employees and one less fire station. 

The union, Local 428 of the International Association of Fire Fighters has cost saving ideas that could save $1.5 million dollars and avoid layoffs or closing a station.

Council is still reviewing Thompson’s $6.9 million dollar fire budget.  They should complete their review on Monday.

Pennsylvania State Workers Have Bad Case Of The Jitters – Layoffs Loom Again

Map of Pennsylvania

Image via Wikipedia

Many state workers fear that Tom Corbett will keep his pledge to downsize the number of state employees by a 10% across the board cut as promised during his campaign.  Governor-elect Corbett wants to review the funding for each state program to make sure they are operating correctly. 

The Service Employees Union has prepared a list of nonpersonnel cost-saving suggestions that could save Pennsylvania millions of dollars.  The same union has a large number of employees that will qualify for retirement next year thereby eliminating workers by attrition instead of layoffs.

Pennsylvania has a huge pension crisis looming on the horizon along with other financial problems that are recession related.  Hard choices will need to be made to cover the multi-billion-dollar budget gap.  Early retirement incentives are being offered to state employees as a way to cut the state’s workforce.

Pennsylvania has the second largest state government while being the sixth largest state in population.  Many hard choices will need to be made to get Pennsylvania’s financial house in order.