More layoffs in Maryland

The Baltimore Sun

Several Baltimore-area employers have notified the state of numerous layoffs, as Maryland faces rising unemployment amid a deepening recession.

Columbia-based Barton-Cotton Inc., which designs direct-marketing campaigns for nonprofit groups, told state officials that 200 employees would lose their jobs if the company cannot find a buyer.

The company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy this week.

Mark Friedman, the bankruptcy trustee for Barton-Cotton, said yesterday that the parties are trying to arrange for interim business operations to continue and complete work for clients. Calls to Barton-Cotton and American Capital Ltd., its majority owner, were not returned yesterday.

CACI International Inc., an Arlington, Va.-based information technology company and government contractor, said about 100 employees at the Social Security Administration's National Computer Center in Woodlawn would no longer work there after the government decided to award the contract to a small business.

But the company said in a statement that it is "currently repositioning our employees to other jobs within CACI to continue our growth."

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond said 55 employees in Baltimore will be laid off because the Fed is shutting down the check-processing operations in April.

The move is part of a consolidation of nearly two dozen check-processing facilities into four initially announced in 2007 as paper check volumes declined due to the increase of credit and debit card payments. Since that time, paper check volume has continued to fall, resulting in the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland serving as the single paper check processing site by the end of 2009.

Maryland's jobless rate climbed to a 15-year high of 5.8 percent in December.

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