Forest County lays off 17 full-time workers

Forest County laid off 17 full-time employees Friday.

County commissioners said the layoffs were spread out over several departments including community and economic development, the treasurer, prothonotary and register and recorder offices, conservation and planning, assessment and tax claim, elections and voting, transportation and Penn State Extension.

In addition, 11 part-time drivers for the county’s transportation department were laid off two weeks ago, Lynette Greathouse, the clerk for the commissioners, said.

Commissioner Bob Snyder said even the full-time drivers had only been working a few hours a week due to the very few trips that were taking place.

“All departments had some layoffs,” commissioners chairman Mark Kingston said. He added that some employees were using sick leave.

Greathouse said all elected officials such as the prothonotary, treasurer and clerk of courts are still taking care of essential business.

She added that transportation director Brenda McCanna is still taking calls and coordinating necessary rides within the county.

The only departments that didn’t have layoffs were court and court-related which operate at the discretion of the judge, Snyder said.

These departments include the sheriff’s office, probation, Children and Youth services and the district judge.

Forest is the second county in the tri-county area to announce layoffs.

On March 27, Clarion County laid off 23 employees, most of which were in the commissioners office and judge’s office. The rest were in the register and recorder, prothonotary and sheriff’s offices.

Venango County commissioners have yet to make a decision about layoffs.