CLEVELAND — Aramark, the company that provides food service to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, announced Monday that it plans to lay off 361 employees due to the impact of COVID-19 has had on business, according to a letter addressed to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Dr. Bill Kosteas is an economic expert at Cleveland State University and said while the layoffs are upsetting, they are not surprising.
"What I wonder is if they were trying to hold onto these employees as long as they could and then just got to a point where it was no longer feasible," Kosteas said. "And so that's something we might see more of."
In the letter, the company said Rocket Mortage FieldHouse “does not anticipate business improving in full for an undefined period of time and will only need our [Aramark] in a limited capacity, if at all, during this time period," which was not specified in the notice.
Aramark said it intends to lay off, reduce hours and/or terminate its employees at Rocket Mortgage. The affected jobs include bartenders, cooks, vendors and food service supervisors.
Kosteas said Ohioans who have been laid off may struggle finding new work because of a shift in the labor market and the fact that many of the jobs currently available require highly specific skills and extensive training.
"There has been net job creation, but part of what's happening is there's been kind of a shift in the labor market in terms of what kind of jobs are out there and who's hiring," Kosteas said.
Read the full letter, including specific jobs affected here.
In March, Cavaliers forward Kevin Love donated $100,000 to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse staff right after the league halted the season due to coronavirus concerns. A month later, Cavs center Andre Drummond donated $60,000 to the staff.