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State Department of Labor: all Empire Aero Employees will be laid off

By By PAT BAILEY

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - According to a news release sent out by the New York State Department of Labor, all 203 employees of Empire Aero will be let go by May.

In a release from Empire Aero officials, the layoffs are the result of a bad economy and that depending on workload, the layoffs could come in stages. An effort is currently underway to try to find a buyer for the company, hoping a new owner would keep it open.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, said efforts to find new work for Empire Aero have been underway for for months, including looking at military contracts. Picente said Empire Aero has both the staff and facility to expand their business in that direction.

"A lot of that work is getting done in the south right now which is backlogged," Picente said. "Some of it is getting done outside the U.S., which is crazy. It should be done here - especially with a New York company that's capable."

Even before the news of the layoffs, Picente said he was supposed to be in Washington, D.C. to talk to federal officials about Empire Aero handling military repairs. Most of those contracts are with companies in the south, and some are even oversees, Picente said.

Picente did not fly to Washington Thursday because his flight was canceled.

Last November, nearly 100 employees were laid off at Empire Aero Center and just last month even their president was let go. Earlier this week, the company filed a "warn notice."

A warn notice is a state and federal law that requires large companies to give their employees at least a 60-day notification that the company could be closing or that there could be mass layoffs.

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