It's not been a good day for Akron-based FirstEnergy. Not only is the utility trying to resolve massive power outages in the wake of hurricane Sandy, but deal with layoffs at the same time.
FirstEnergy announced today it was laying off 142 employees, including 56 at its Akron operations.
FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin says the cutbacks were not unexpected. Durbin tells AkronNewsNow " Back in September we announced that we were conducting an analysis of our staffing levels with the possibility that there would be some reductions, and today those employees were notified. This is in response to the combination of the slow economy, slow customer growth, and there's just so much electric generation supply in the marketplace now that it's resulting in lower prices, so it's obviously not a good day at all at our company, anytime you have to reduce people it's not a good day at all."
Durbin says the current conditions are a challenge the utility must overcome to make sure they're ready when the economy picks up.
Durbin says the layoffs do not include linemen who are working now in several states to restore power after Sandy's destruction. He says most of those leaving are support personnel .
Most of the layoffs occurred at FirstEnergy's downtown and White Pond offices.
When it comes to making sure that we're adequately staffed to handle the challenges we're facing right now in the marketplace it's just a step that we had to take," says Durbin.