Published in Economic Development
The Rapid plans 270 layoffs during ‘unprecedented’ coronavirus outbreak COURTESY PHOTO

The Rapid plans 270 layoffs during ‘unprecedented’ coronavirus outbreak

BY MIBIZ STAFF Wednesday, April 01, 2020 04:59am

The Rapid has told state officials that it anticipates 270 temporary layoffs starting next week to reduce worker exposure to the coronavirus pandemic.

The metro Grand Rapids public transportation service filed a WARN notice with the state Talent Investment Agency on March 22, the same day it announced it was reducing its transportation service in the Grand Rapids area. 

The layoffs could begin April 6, but official with The Rapid say the agency is “sifting through” the most recent federal stimulus law to see if it would qualify for funding and potentially reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs.

“We’re expecting a more definitive direction on layoffs in the next couple of days,” The Rapid spokesperson Bill Kirk said Wednesday morning.

Agency officials cited “unprecedented times” amid the coronavirus pandemic when notifying the state of potential layoffs.

“Obviously, these are unprecedented times in the midst of a global pandemic crisis,” Nancy Groendal, The Rapid’s human resources manager, wrote in the March 22 letter to the state. “We understand that this situation is creating enormous stress and hardship for everyone given the unforeseeable circumstances involved. Rest assured that we will continue to monitor developments as conditions change at the local, state, and federal level and hope to return to our prior service levels as soon as is safely possible.”

The names and the positions affected were redacted in the WARN notice. Groendal could not immediately be reached for comment.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from The Rapid

Read 5771 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 April 2020 11:16