Gap workers in Harford attend group's job fair

Company will lay off 170 by this summer

February 20, 2005|By Christina Hernandez | Christina Hernandez,SUN STAFF

The outlook for Gap Inc. distribution center employees who will be laid off before the Edgewood facility shuts down this summer seems to be improving, county officials said last week.

At the beginning of the month, Gap employees were informed of employment opportunities in the area during a full-day information session at the distribution center, said Bruce England, executive director of the Susquehanna Workforce Network.

"We have a lot of opportunities related to what they do with the manufacturing, distribution and warehouse base in Harford County," he said. "We never like to see anyone close, but we've been fortunate in Harford County to have great job growth in the past year."

England said the layoffs will not begin until April 1.

"I think Gap and the employees have a mutual agreement," he said. "[The employees] need to finish what they need to do there."

County Councilman Dion F. Guthrie, a Democrat who represents the area and is an executive board member of the Workforce Investment Board of Harford and Cecil Counties, said the Rapid Response Department of the Susquehanna Region of the Workforce Investment Board held a job fair for the 170 Gap employees. He said 130 of the 170 employees attended the fair.

England said another job fair April 6 at the distribution center will include 16 more employers.

J. Thomas Sadowski, economic development director for Harford County, said, "We feel we're responding to [the situation], and I would say that long-term the outlook is positive," he said.

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