layoffs

A total of 173 state employees have been laid off in the first two months of the fiscal year that started July 1.

Lindsay Ruiz de Chavez, with the state Department of Civil Service, tells The Times-Picayune that the latest figures show that from July 1, 2008, to Aug. 31 of this year, 2,373 jobs have been abolished.

In the first two months of the present fiscal year, 448 job positions have been abolished, including positions that were vacant.

Ormet Corp. plans to lay off 200 people at its alumina plant in Ascension Parish because of reduced demand caused by rising power rates in Ohio.

The Advocate reports Ormet issued 60-day federal layoff notices Tuesday for the plant in the town of Burnside, which produces the primary raw material used in aluminum production. This comes two weeks after Ormet said it would reduce operations at its aluminum smelter in Hannibal, Ohio, which uses the Burnside alumina.

Ormet reopened the shuttered Burnside alumina plant in late 2011, after the plant had been closed for five years.

The Orleans Parish School Board plans to lay off nearly two dozen employees, largely because of a drop in federal funding for low-income students and those with special needs.

The Times-Picayune reported the list of staff losing their jobs includes four teachers.

Interim Superintendent Stan Smith, who has been warning of a potential budget gap for months, said layoffs would have gone deeper — to more than 30 positions — were it not for some recent resignations.

New Orleans news oganizations discuss The Times-Picayune's major reorganization.
Erin Krall / erinkrallphoto.com

Layoffs began at The Times-Picayune today, as the newspaper shifts from a seven-day-a-week printed product to an online news organization.