Three of 15 people who worked in Howard County government's TV studio and print shop were laid off at the end of the fiscal year Monday, according to county officials.
County Human Resources Director Todd Allen said the other workers found new jobs, some with help from the county's Professional Outplacement Assistance Center. One of the remaining three opted for early retirement, Allen said. Another declined a job offer from Howard Community College, which is taking over operation of the TV studio.
Discontinuing GTV and the print shop is expected to save the county about $1 million in operating costs this fiscal year. The moves were part of County Executive Ken Ulman's budget plan to find savings where possible in existing programs while starting new ones, like the Healthy Howard health care access plan for uninsured residents.
Pia Jordan, an on-air reporter for GTV for 18 years, said she declined the job at HCC's studio because she's conducting a broader search for a new job that might involve relocating.
"It's not real yet," Jordan said, noting that she normally takes two weeks vacation in July anyway. The full effect will sink in, she said, in "mid-July, when I have no place to come back to."
Jordan gave birth to her daughter Christina on camera 18 years ago, as one of the first shows she did for the county station, which began operations in 1984.
"I was boo-hooing," she said Monday, as she and others packed up their belongings for the last time. "It's been off and on - the tears."