NEW ORLEANS – On Friday, the National WWII Museum announced the release of 82 employees. Both full and part-time employees were let go during this layoff. Please read the full statement from the WWII Museum below.
“As a private nonprofit that largely relies on visitation, The National WWII Museum has faced significant financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its campus closure. In the first two months alone, the Museum experienced millions of dollars in lost revenue from admission sales and private events, fundraisers, and overseas educational travel programs that were cancelled. Through reductions to discretionary expenses, executive staff pay cuts, support from its national Board of Trustees and donors, and relief provided by the CARES Act, the Museum was able to minimize the short-term impact on staff and continue paying all of its more than 300 employees throughout the closure.
However, despite being able to reopen next week, the Museum expects a tough year ahead given the impacts on tourism. For the upcoming fiscal year that starts on July 1, 2020, visitation is predicted to be less than half of what was previously expected. As an unfortunate outcome of these fiscal challenges, the Museum notified 82 full-time and part-time staff members that their positions will be eliminated as the institution realigns its workforce with its new financial realities. Additionally, 40 vacant positions were eliminated. Many of the remaining Museum staff will take temporary pay reductions of 5% to 25%.
“I am deeply sorry that it became necessary to lay off many dedicated colleagues who played a key part in the Museum’s success,” said Stephen J. Watson, President & CEO. “While I am grateful that we were able to pay our employees throughout the closure and will continue to retain approximately 200 of our staff, it is very difficult to lose many good, talented people who contributed so much to this Museum. I will be forever grateful to our staff–both those who are continuing with us and those we said goodbye to today–for their passion, creativity, and commitment to advancing our mission, especially during these unprecedented times. The National WWII Museum’s future is strong because of them. Just as we did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Museum will work tirelessly to build back our operations and play an active role in helping kick start the city and state’s economic recovery.””