31 laid off from Shelby County division - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

31 laid off from Shelby County division

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Dozens of Shelby County employees found themselves out of a job this week after a round of layoffs swept a Shelby County division.

Calling it the toughest thing he's ever had to do, Mayor A C Wharton said 31 layoffs took place Tuesday in the county's Division of Planning and Development, which supervises code enforcement.

"After we saw that the recession was here for a longer term than we expected, we simply had no choice," Wharton said.

The County's Division of Planning and Development supervises construction, building permits, inspections and related activities.  With the number of construction projects dropping to record lows, Wharton said, there just wasn't enough work to keep county workers working...

"There is nothing for employees to do," he said. "It's not their fault, it's just that there was nothing to do."

Wharton said Shelby County is in the process of helping laid off workers find other jobs, including positions in other county divisions.

While the mayor didn't rule out more layoffs, he said the county has come up with a plan to try to help workers who might be laid off in the future.

"Any jobs that comes open in the county from this point on we will restrict to present employees before we go outside," he said.

Wharton added he has hopes that the economic stimulus package signed this week by President Obama will improve the area's job picture.

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