FirstEnergy Corp. on Wednesday said it expects to reduce its work force by 200 people — mostly in Akron. The company also expects further reductions in 2013.
The Akron utility said it would conduct an “organizational study to determine how its work force should be aligned to best meet the challenges of the continued weak economy.”
The initiative will include a review of corporate support departments and FirstEnergy Solutions, the company’s competitive subsidiary, located primarily in Akron, the company said.
FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider said the departments involved are mostly office support and include divisions such as business development, corporate affairs, human resources, information technology and supply chain.
The review will also include cuts to management employees, Schneider said.
“It’s looking at these different groups and basically seeing how we can improve their efficiency through streamlining,” Schneider said.
The results of the study will be announced in early November and the layoffs would occur in November, Schneider said. Affected employees will be eligible for benefits under FirstEnergy’s severance plan.
“This effort is in response to a combination of economic factors, including continued slow customer load growth and an abundance of electric generation supply resulting in low power prices,” company President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Alexander said in the news release. “While this is a difficult step to take, it is part of our ongoing efforts to meet these economic challenges head-on and ensure the company is positioned for long-term growth and success.”
In August, the company said it employed 16,953, with 2,475 in Summit County, including its downtown Akron headquarters. Those numbers were up slightly in Summit from a year ago but down about 2 percent across the company.
The company said in addition to the organization study, the company also expects further “work force reductions” throughout 2013 “as replacement of employees who leave the company through normal attrition will be limited.”