Southeastern Connecticut is gearing up to deal with a huge economic dislocation as Foxwoods casino lays off 700 workers.
The gaming industry was long thought to be recession proof, but the latest downturn is beginning to take its toll. After Mohegan Sun’s decision to delay its expansion plans comes the news that Foxwoods will lay off about six percent of its workforce. The Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board has dealt with many large scale layoffs in the region, helping to place or retrain affected workers. But the Board’s director John Beauregard says this one is daunting.
"Reabsorption will definitely be a challenge, especially with the economy the way it is right now. That number of 700, if indeed it does stay at that level, ranks among the largest that we’ve dealt with in a decade or so. I think we would have to go back to some of the layoffs we experienced during defense downsizing to hit those kinds of numbers."
The Mashantucket Pequot tribe, the owners of Foxwoods, have said the layoffs will come across the board, affecting both hourly employees and management. The layoffs will be staggered over the next two weeks. It’s just four months since Foxwoods opened its new MGM Grand expansion, which resulted in 2 thousand new jobs.