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Area tries to weather latest blow on the job front

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Officials with the Rite Aid Distribution Center in Rome announced on Tuesday that they're consolidating operations in Liverpool, taking 400 jobs with them when they close their doors in July of 2011.

It's not the first time the city has lost a significant amount of jobs all at once. Pain from the loss of Griffiss Air Force Base in the mid-1990s has not completely faded. The mayor says that's the problem - job loss is swift and substantial, but positions seem to be regained at a much slower pace.

"Hopefully we have Premier in the next couple of weeks; we're going to make the announcement that Premier is going to take over Empire Aero that looks good but that's 35-40 jobs. So, we've got to continually work on one job at a time and not think we're going to go out there and get a big hit and bring 400 jobs into this area," says Brown.

Economy watchers and experts say no one can predict what will be the well-paying mainstay jobs of the future for any community. But that studies have shown that job loss and gain can define an area.

"There were a couple of studies a number of years ago that showed the difference between fast-growing and slow-growing areas wasn't the amount of job loss; all areas suffer job loss. It was how quickly you attract new companies. And that's where we are losing out," says Rick Fenner, Ph.D, of Utica College.

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