Colonial Williamsburg announces restructuring, layoffs

today some of those local workers learned they are out of a job. 71 were laid off. 262 employees will have the option to work for an outsourced company for at least a year and 22 employees will transfer jobs inside the Williamsburg Foundation.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) -- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announced that it would undergo restructuring on Thursday, in an effort to curb major operating losses in recent years. As part of that restructuring, dozens of employees will be leaving by the end of the year.

Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss said in an open letter that the foundation had suffered $54 million in operating losses in 2016 alone, and a total of $277 million in the last five years. Saying these losses are unsustainable, Reiss announced the Foundation would restructure in a plan that aims to save tens of millions of dollars.

From March: Foundation says Colonial Williamsburg losing money, considers building fence

The restructuring will include some layoffs at the site, where costumed actors re-enact life in colonial times amid the historic buildings.

Companies have been contracted to manage the Foundation's retail and golf facilities, and Reiss says 262 employees can either remain under the new ownership or leave if they so choose.  Seventy-one other employees however, will leave the Foundation by the end of the year.

Twenty-two other employees whose current positions are being eliminated will have new positions elsewhere in the Foundation.

Reiss says Williamsburg attracts half the visitors it did 30 years ago. It also had more than $300 million in debt at the end of 2016.

Open Letter to Colonial Williamsburg Community by 13News Now on Scribd

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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