Labor Seal NYS Department of Labor                          

Contact Leo Rosales Cell: 518-281-6167 Office: 518-457-5519 Email:
Statement from Acting Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner on the Situation at Empire Aero Center in Rome

Albany, NY (February 11, 2010) - The Department of Labor received a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Notice from Empire Aero Center in Rome, NY today.  The company states that they will lay off 203 workers as early as May 10, 2010.

At Governor Paterson's request, Labor Department staff in Utica have made contact with the company and a meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 17 with company management to discuss next steps.  Most likely, Rapid Response sessions for workers will take place a short time after the meeting.  A targeted job fair for these workers will also be discussed.

At the Rapid Response sessions, we will convey the message to workers that the Labor Department is here to help.  We'll provide them with information on: how to apply for Unemployment Insurance; workshops such as resume and cover letter writing at our local offices; job matching services; and training opportunities that can make their skills valuable to local employers.

This is a major employer in the Mohawk Valley that contributes greatly to the region's economy.  For the most part, affected workers are highly-skilled, FAA-licensed mechanics.  They have very specific skill sets that may or may not be difficult to match with other employers in the region.  Time will tell, but we're not going to wait to find out. 

As such, we'll work with each individual to search not only in the Mohawk Valley, but every region of the state to see where there is a need for workers with such skills.  In addition, the Labor Department's Division of Research and Statistics will be assessing where similar companies exist in every corner of the state.  Once we find these companies, we'll be reaching out to them to gauge their interest in hiring these workers as well. 

The workers of Empire Aero Center and their families are our number one concern and we will do everything we can to help them during this scary and difficult time.