May 23, 2020 8:00 PM

About 1,000 Kansas City workers learn of potential layoffs

Posted May 23, 2020 8:00 PM

KANSAS CITY (AP) — About 1,000 contract employees of a federal agency have received notice that their jobs face elimination in what would be one of the largest mass layoffs of the year for the Kansas City area.

The employees work for the National Benefits Center, which processes paperwork for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, at offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Overland Park, Kansas.

The fee-funded U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has taken a financial hit amid the coronavirus pandemic and is seeking emergency funding from Congress, saying that it is going to run out of money this summer.

In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter obtained by The Star, Virginia-based PAE, a private contractor that provides staffing for the center, explained that it received notice from the agency that it was significantly reducing the scope of its contract with PAE, effective May 30.

The positions are anticipated to be eliminated by May 29.

Some of the paperwork the center processes is for international adoptions. Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for PAE, said that “people who waited years to adopt a child or become an American will be unable to do so.