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Oneida Indian Nation employees receive Christmas bonuses

VERONA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Friday morning, Oneida Indian Nation C.E.O. Ray Halbritter said this day is one of the days he absolutely looks forward to each year.

This is the day Nation employees receive their Christmas bonuses.

In a grand celebration, Halbritter personally handed bonus checks to about 60 department heads, and those department heads will then distribute the remaining checks to the rest of the 4,500 Nation workers.

Besides the department heads, some employees who have recently been promoted were also handed their check by Halbritter.

One of those was Amy Weismore of Munnsville, who was recently promoted to Supervisor at the Patrick Road Sav-On Store.

Habritter made it a point to announce that Weismore received a perfect score on each of eight separate secret store visits that the nation performs each year to make sure customer service is the best it can be.

Weismore says she feels very fortunate, not only to get a Christmas bonus, but to work for such a great entity like the Oneida Indian Nation year-round.

She says she knows exactly what she will do with her bonus check, "Go Christmas Shopping. I have kids and grandkids I have to go Christmas shopping for."

The total amount the nation is handing out in bonuses is not being released, the media is only told that it is a multi-million dollar distribution.

For the second straight year, the Nation is partnering with the Rome Chamber of Commerce and their 'Shop Rome First' campaign which urges people to shop local.

Chamber President William Guglielmo says we are fortunate to have such an employer in this area, and he hopes the Nation employees do spend their bonus money, not just in Rome stores, but all over the Mohawk valley, "It means so much to the community. It preserves jobs, it develops new jobs it helps bring important sales tax revenue into the community which helps municipalities meet their financial obligations and keeps property taxes from going up, so it's really a win/win for everybody locally."

Besides investing in its employees, he Onida Indian Nation is also investing in the community. It is just beginning a 25 million dollar expansion project called 'Exit 33', a new entertainment complex set to open next July, which will create another 100 permanent jobs, so there could be another 100 people getting Christmas Bonus checks here next year at this time.

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