Walla Walla, WA– One of the valley’s long-standing community service providers made the difficult decision on Wednesday to place its full and part-time non-exempt staff on temporary lay-off standby status with management working from home on reduced pay.
“Given the promising efforts being taken by Congress to provide individuals and families with additional support under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, we carefully weighed what we could do for our employees now in the face of the unknown period of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Karen Hedine, CEO. “We are taking every reasonable step we can to ensure the Y’s ability to re-open with the goal of everyone returning to work as soon as possible.”
The Y relies on membership and program fees to maintain operations, including staff, while donations support scholarships that make it possible for youth and individuals to participate in all that the Y offers. With the shelter-in-place order now in effect, the Y has continued to provide virtual online wellness, training and childcare programs for the community through the free Walla Walla YMCA YouTube channel. It also continues to provide essential services onsite with American Red Cross blood drives scheduled in the coming weeks. The Y has broadened its outreach to other area nonprofits to offer supplies and other needed support.
Management is continuing to work on plans for membership opportunities, including wellness, childcare and youth programs, and updated schedules, with the hope that by summer it can provide these and swimming programs and services both at the Y and in Milton-Freewater.
“The Y’s Board is supportive of all that management is doing to support the employees, and to ensure the continuity of the Y’s community-oriented programs and services both within and outside the Y,” said Tim Donaldson, Board chair. “We appreciate that as the economy has shifted under the effect of COVID-19, many in our community have had to make the difficult decision to suspend non-essential expenditures. We are readying the Y to welcome everyone back and to invite new members to come see all that we offer once the healthcare situation clears.”
For information contact:
Karen Hedine, CEO
Walla Walla YMCA