Gainesville Job Corps Center lays off 125 staff members, closes due to Irma

By  | 

GAINESVILLE, Fla -- East Gainesville is losing a major employer.

The Gainesville Job Corps Center on Waldo Road was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma one month ago, and the Federal Department of Labor has decided it isn't worth repairing.

Frank Avery, the Executive Director of CareerSource of North Central Florida said 125 staff members were laid off Wednesday. All the job corps clients have been re-assigned to other facilities.

The government told Odle Management Group, the firm recently selected to operate the facility, that the excessive flood damage wasn't worth the cost of repairs.

Avery said his team is willing to help those out of work to get back on their feet.

"If this really is about cleaning up the job center, we have resources that we can deploy to get individuals who have been out of work or who are laid off due to Irma like these individuals, get them put back into work restoring the facility, therefore reducing the cost of the federal government to repair that facility," Avery said.

TV20 reached out to USDOL Thursday afternoon and an official with Public Affairs said he could not comment on the matter.

The management group are now appealing to city leaders to look for alternatives to re-open the center, but there is no timetable at the moment to accomplish that.

Avery said the facility will officially close Friday this week and the rest of the staff are expected to be laid off as well.