CenturyLink will lay off 51 in Hood River

A CenturyLink spokesman Martin Flynn confirmed Wednesday that the company plans to lay off 51 employees at its “assignment center” in Hood River.

CenturyLink plans to close its Hood River this summer, the company told employees Tuesday that they have jobs through Aug. 2.

"CenturyLink, as all businesses, continually evaluates its cost structure and business practices and adjusts its operations to meet the needs of the business and its customers," the company said in a written statement. "After careful consideration, CenturyLink has made the difficult decision to close its Hood River call assignment center."

“They are great employees. We know this is difficult, but it is a business decision as CenturyLink consolidates,” Flynn said.

“We are working with the employees on an individual basis, to see what we can do. Most will be offered the opportunity, should they choose to do so, to move elsewhere in the company. They won’t be assured of the same job, but something else with CenturyLink.” Flynn said those moves would be to facilities in Seattle or elsewhere in Oregon.

CenturyLink said it will retain its construction and engineering operations in Hood River, employing between 40 and 50 people.

“Those employees and the technicians who serve our customers will still be providing those services in Hood River,” Flynn said.

“Hood River is a smaller community and we have had a long-time presence there,” Flynn said

The facility has a long history in the Columbia River Gorge and gone through a number of corporate transitions.

Once known as United Telephone, the Hood River facility became Sprint in 1992. It changed ownership after Sprint spun its local phone operations off into a new company called Embarq. CenturyTel bought Embarq in 2009, and CenturyTel then changed its own name to CenturyLink.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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