Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baltimore Jobs Saved by UMMC

Hundreds of people who were in danger of losing their Baltimore jobs have learned they will be saved by a local university medical center.

Aramark recently announced that it will lay off about 450 workers during April when the University of Maryland Medical Center plans to begin handling its own food services and housekeeping.

However, the hospital has now offered those employees a chance to keep their jobs. R. Keith Allen, senior vice president of human resources at UMMC, said the workers would not receive a cut in pay or benefits if hired by the hospital or its affiliate, University Specialty Hospital.

"We are in the process of interviewing all of those employees who would like to keep working here," he told The Baltimore Sun. "We are pleased that there will be no erosion of the job base."

Philadelphia-based Aramark provides services ranging from cafeteria management to landscaping. The company laid off 113 employees during December 2009 as a concessions contract with the Baltimore Convention Center ended and it lost the bid for a new contract to Centerplate.

Aramark also told the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation that it would have to fire another 609 people if the company's concessions contract with Oriole Park at Camden Yards is not renewed.

During December 2009, the Baltimore-Towson area's unemployment rate remained at 7.6 percent, following a decrease from 7.7 percent during November. The area's current rate was lower than the national unemployment rate at the time of 10 percent, although that rate has now dropped to 9.7 percent.

The Baltimore area had a total non-farm employment of 1,284,900 workers during December, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 1,287,800 workers during November and a 1.8 percent decrease from December 2008.

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