69 employees laid off in city's job training office


Sixty-nine staffers at the agency that coordinates Baltimore's employment and job training efforts are now looking for work.

Layoff notices were sent out this week to 49 full-time and 20 part-time workers in the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, effective Nov. 1.

The layoffs of managers, custodians and clerical workers were needed because of cutbacks of $2.5 million in federal job training funds funneled to the city, Barbara A. Davis, the agency's spokeswoman, said yesterday.

The cutbacks include $500,000 in Job Training Partnership Act money from the U.S. Department of Labor for skill-training and placement services, and $2 million in Jobs Opportunities and Basic Skills funds, given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the state to help welfare recipients enter the labor market, she said.

The cutbacks should have only a minimal effect on the agency's efforts to train city residents, Ms. Davis said.

"The cuts are coming out of administrative services," she said. "Our participants won't recognize anything different."

The agency has 363 full- and part-time employees and an annual budget of $29 million -- $28 million from federal and state grants.

It serves about 15,000 residents each year in a variety of programs, including summer jobs placement, literacy training and counseling for high school students who are considered to be potential dropouts. The agency also places welfare recipients with public agencies and nonprofit organizations in nonpaying positions that offer work experience and the hope of future employment.

Ms. Davis expressed hope that some of the employees who received layoff notices this week might be given slots available from a recent administrative reorganization and hiring freeze.

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