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Tuesday headlines PM

Mar 29, 2011 4:41 pm
As layoffs mount, job training funds dry up; may be eliminated
Mike McCagg of CCscoop writes about the ways in which funding to help the region’s unemployed, or soon-to-be unemployed, is quickly running dry. His interviews with officials with at the state’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Office at Columbia-Greene Community College added that prospects for new funding next year are looking even bleaker. With Holcim Cement in Catskill mothballed and many teachers now expecting layoffs, Workforce Investment Executive Director M.A. Wiltse says that job training funding for the year is nearly depleted. “There are so many people that are unemployed these days that it becomes more and more difficult to provide the assistance they need,” she said. The funds she administers are used to pay tuition for programs that re-train workers for new careers.

Groups plan camping in the Capitol
James Odato reports in the Times Union's Capitol Confidential that 15 buses are on their way to Albany. They are carrying 1,000 activists from across New York to protest the newly-negotiated budget and its cuts... and overnight in the capitol. "As many as 300 lodgers may try to set a record for sitting in at the historic building," Odato writes. "Organizers are trying to work out a way to remain in the building without getting arrested. They argue that lobbyists get to hang out around the clock while lawmakers are deliberating important bills such as the budget, and normal folk should also have the right to do so." Talks with State Police have been ongoing.

Proposal made for site study at DSS
John Mason reports in the Register-Star that Columbia County supervisors and officials are mulling a new proposal for an environmental site assessment of the current Department of Social Services building at 25 Railroad Avenue in Hudson. The cost of the study would be $46,000. Two years ago, county officials decided the space was too small for their needs, and also pegged various environmental problems within it. Subsequent proposals to move DSS to the Ockawamick school building in Philmont and, more recently, the old Wal Mart structure in Greenport, both fell through because of budget concerns.

Wilber Bank to lay off a quarter of employees after merger
Lyssa Harris of The Watershed Post has a story about how a bank merger in the Catskills is having reverberations throughout several counties. Oneonta-based Wilber National Bank, newly merged with Community Bank System of Syracuse, has announced 63 layoffs. Most will be in the greater Oneonta region, as well as in Boiceville, Fleischmanns, and Cobleskill.

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