Shared Work Program gives alternatives to lay-offs

"Not since Franklin Roosevelt faced the dark days of the Great Depression has our country and our state seen such a drastic economic downturn," he said.

Although the Shared Work Program has been around for at least seven years, John L. Masella, regional manager for OneWorkSource, said there hasn't been such a need for the program until now.

"When things were up and running ... you don't need to take advantage of the program," he said.

Masella also explained that in order for a business to take part in the program, it is necessary to have at least five full-time employees. However, there may be some exceptions.

"In some cases, you may have four full-time employees and two part-time employees. There's ways we can work with you," said Masella. "Our job is to make sure we keep all the well-trained employees with the companies."

Masella added there are other positive aspects to the program.

"The big, big part about this program is if you're getting health benefits or vacation, that all stays in place," he said. "If you're on full lay-off, it's gone. It's a win-win situation."

For more information about the Shared Work Program, visit the state Department of Labor's Web site at www.labor.state.ny.us. If interested in applying for the program, call 457-5807.

"You can stay in business, retain your workers and hopefully weather our economic tsunami that is staying in our nation," said Donaldson."

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