This week, we shared the news that Disney would be laying off 28,000 Cast Members across its Parks, Experiences, and Products division. While these positions span multiple sectors and departments, a significant number of employee layoffs are coming from Disney World in Florida.
Today, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings commented on the layoffs and what he intends to do to support the community during this time.
During his opening remarks and updates on the state of Orange County, Jerry Demings noted the significant impact these layoffs will have. He noted that “the recent announcement by Disney of thousands of permanent layoffs in our community no doubt will accentuate the need for crisis assistance for families and individuals right here in our community.”
In response to an anticipated increase of financial assistance in the community, Mayor Demings announced that next week he will reopen of the Orange CARES Individuals and Family Assistance Program for a second round of assistance. This program has already helped 30,000 residents throughout Orange County. Demings commented, “We know the need is great, and we intend to continue to answer the call for service in our community.”
After the Mayor’s update, both he and Mayor Buddy Dyer were asked by a reporter, “What went through your mind, what were your feelings when you found out nearly 7,000 of your residents would be losing their jobs at Disney, and how did that affect your optimism for the theme park’s recovery?”
Mayor Demings responded, “It was sad news because some of those individuals who were laid off, they’re friends, they’re family, they’re acquaintances, they’re residents of our community. And so as such, what we have endeavored to do here is to try to make certain that we are providing the crisis assistance to fill the gap between the period of time that they find themselves as unemployed and employed.”
Demings continued, “When I got the phone call from Disney, it was a sobering phone call but one that was not unexpected. And I say that because Disney is the largest single-site employer of really North America. And we know that our economy has not recovered, our tourism has not recovered, and we know that there’s going to be some time before it does.”
When speaking on the duration of the recovery needed in their local economy, Demings pointed out that “We are in this, I think, for the long haul. It’s been seven months, and there’s no question that I think we may have seven months more to go before we really begin to see the type of recovery that we’re all looking forward to.”
We will continue to closely monitor this story as it develops and will provide as many resources as we can to assist those affected by the layoffs.
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