ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Capital District YMCA was forced to change its business model to comply with changing state regulations due to the COVID-19 phased reopening process.
The non-profit originally furloughed many of its employees in March. Those furloughs turned into the layoffs of 1,426 workers whose jobs are not allowed in Phase Four.
The layoffs include jobs like gym and pool employees.
“I was a little surprised. I was a little heartbroken. Honestly, I love The Y. I love working there,” said former trainer Amelia Waters.
Waters recently received a letter that said her job was terminated.
“I took it personally, but then I actually reached out to other co-workers, or other former co-workers, of mine and they said, ‘Yes, I got the same letter.’ And one co-worker actually explained to me that you can reapply when they open again, whenever that’s going to be,” Waters said.
CEO and President of the Capital District YMCA David Brown said they intend on bringing everyone back.
“It’s our goal and hope that we can, but we can’t control what’s happening in the environment,” Brown said.
In the interim, Brown said The Y will hold a greater focus on its community programs like low-income housing and child care, many he deems essential to the community.
“We are not just a gym. While we have wellness centers and we have pools, we do a lot more,” Brown said.
Given the uncertainty of the reopening process, Brown said they’re waiting for guidance from executive orders to give them more direction.
“Now [the state’s] doing an air filter study, and depending on what that tells us we’ll have to see where we go from there,” Brown said.
The Capital District YMCA branches have been shutdown since mid-March, when Governor Andrew Cuomo shutdown non-essential businesses to curb the spread of the virus.
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