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144 employees laid off from GR Home for Veterans

4:13 PM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
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The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- More than 144 employees received layoff notices Tuesday at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Suzanne Thelen, public information officer for the Office of Veteran's Affairs, confirmed the 144 layoff notices Tuesday afternoon. 

Thelen says the cuts are part of the 2011 plan to reduce costs at the facility after the state cut funding.  The layoffs affect "residential care assistants."  They will be replaced with workers from a private Grand Rapids firm called J2S Group.  According to the company's website, J2S provides "skilled nursing assistants for long- and short-term needs."

The layoffs didn't take effect in 2011 because a resident at the facility filed a lawsuit, saying the cuts would negatively impact patient care.  Thelen says the lawsuit was recently dismissed, clearing the way for the layoffs to happen.  

The 144 employees will lose their jobs in Mid-March, but can apply for a similar position through J2S.  The state is also holding financial planning and job search seminars to affected workers.  

Approximately 500 people currently live at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

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