Plus: Lord & Taylor announces up to 40 layoffs as White Flint store closes

By Dan Schere

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Logo from RMA Facebook Page

Up to nearly 200 workers being laid of from Rockville transportation company

Errands Plus, a taxi and limousine service based in Rockville, laid off up to nearly 200 employees last month, according to notices filed with the Maryland Department of Labor on Wednesday.

Errands Plus filed notices of the layoffs under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires some employers to give advance notice of business closures and mass layoffs. They are retroactive to Sept. 24.

According to copies of the worker dislocation notices, the layoffs are due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Someone who answered the phone at Errands Plus on Friday told Bethesda Beat that it is the parent company and that RMA Coach and International Limousine Service are entities within the company. She declined to provide more information.

The notices state that up to 131 workers are being laid off from Errands Plus and up to 34 each at RMA Coach and International Limousine Service. The same address is listed for all three notices.

RMA Worldwide President and CEO Robert Alexander wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat last week that the pandemic has had a “devastating impact” on the transportation industry.

“Many clients expected things to get better in the fall and we were looking forward to that improvement. Unfortunately, that has not yet happened in the way we had hoped and expected.  As a result, our company had to make some very painful decisions regarding layoffs,” he wrote.

Alexander wrote that he hopes the company can eventually start hiring again.

Lord & Taylor laying off up to 40 employees in White Flint

Lord & Taylor in White Flint, set to close permanently, is laying off up to 40 workers effective Dec. 1, according to notices filed this month with the Maryland Department of Labor.

The department store chain’s parent company, Le Tote, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. All remaining stores will close, including the White Flint and Friendship Heights locations.

Le Tote filed a notice of the layoffs on Oct. 2 under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires some employers to give advance notice of business closures and mass layoffs.

The worker dislocation notice states that it is a “permanent closure” rather than a “mass layoff.”

Montgomery County unemployment drops 2.2 percentage points from May to August

Montgomery County’s unemployment rate was 6.8% in August, according to statistics released last week by the Maryland Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate was 2.2 percentage points less than May’s rate of 9%, but far higher than the 2.8% rate in March, when the health crisis started.

In August, Montgomery County’s unemployment rate was slightly less than the state’s rate of 7%. Neighboring Prince George’s County’s rate was 9% in August.

Brightview Senior Living opens new community in Bethesda

Brightview Senior Living, which operates more than 40 communities on the East Coast, has opened a community at 5510 Grosvenor Lane in Bethesda, according to a press release.

The press release states that Brightview Grosvenor is a monthly rental facility with assisted living, dementia care and enhanced care options for seniors.

According to the press release, of the 96 apartments in the community:

  • 58 are assisted living
  • 26 are for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • 12 are for people with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease or other conditions requiring more attention

Among the amenities in Brightview Grosvenor are a movie theater, a private dining room for events, a pub, a pool table and a library.

Charles E. Smith Life Communities announces $10 million gift

Rockville-based senior living community Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC) on Tuesday announced a $10 million gift from Rockville resident Lenore England.

England made the donation to the CESLC Innovation Fund to honor her parents Patricia and Jonathan, according to a press release.

Jonathan England was president of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington from 1973 to 1975, Lenore England’s great-grandmother, Minnie Goldsmith, was one of the Hebrew Home’s founders, the press release stated.

Lenore England retired in 2018 from University of Maryland University College, where she was the assistant director for Electronic Resources Management, the press release stated. She has since become involved in the nonprofit community.

The press release stated that the $10 million donation will allow CESLC to “creatively design new approaches to deliver quality care and meaningful life experiences for older adults.”

Dan Schere can be reached at [email protected]