CVS to layoff 250 in RI; 600 total

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Hundreds of Rhode Islanders are now looking for work after CVS Health announced a round of layoffs on Thursday. The company cut 600 positions primarily at corporate facilities in Rhode Island, Illinois and Arizona.

After the announcement one employee who lost her job told ABC6 News she feels shocked and surprised by the news.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the finance department worker said that lay-offs happen this week every year; going as far as to say it’s known as "D-Day" around the corporate offices.

"Obviously it’s always disappointing when anyone finds out they are going to be laid off,” said Governor Gina Raimondo.

CVS is citing changing market dynamics as its reason for letting the employees go.

“Following a thorough evaluation process, we have determined that changing market dynamics and the increasingly competitive environment require us to operate as a more lean and efficient organization. As a result, we are eliminating a small percentage of positions at CVS Health in November and December 2016 in order to focus roles and resources on driving the greatest value for our business while maintaining customer satisfaction,” said the Senior Director of Corporate Communications Mike DeAngelis.

In all, 250 Rhode Islanders will lose their jobs.

“The big thing is to increase shareholder wealth. You do it two ways, either through offense or defense. It’s a sports analogy. Offense, increase revenue. Defense, you cut your costs and payroll is the number one operating costs for most companies," said Johnson and Wales Finance Professor Tim Howes.

House says the impact to Rhode Island’s economy will dependent on the specific jobs eliminated.

"If those positions that were cut were high paying really solid higher paying jobs, those are going to have a ripple effect on our economy,” said Howes. “If they’re more entry level I think it has less of an impact."

Mike Healey with the Department of Labor and Training added that his office will offer laid-off workers Rapid Response services.

"We go on site and we meet with as many workers as possible to try and connect them with training programs if they’re eligible for those and also to inform them about unemployment insurance benefits," said Healey.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6