PMC layoffs changing lives as workers begin to look for new jobs

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PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- Monday morning more than 100 people began the search to find a new job following Friday's announcement that Pikeville Medical Center cut 130 positions.

Steven Wheeler, a former heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technician at Pikeville Medical Center, is one of those who is looking for work.

Wheeler began his career at Pikeville Medical Center three years ago.

"It was a great place to work," said Wheeler. "As far as the area goes it was probably one of the best employers in the area."

Wheeler said the job provided him and his wife the opportunity to start a family and two years later they had their son, Hayden.

"You know, you try and raise a child and you're wondering whether you're doing things right or wrong, you're always wondering about if the money is going to be there, if you're going to have the money to buy him this or take him there," said Wheeler.

Friday morning Wheeler went to work like normal, but during his lunch break, a phone call changed everything.

"They called us over to one of the classrooms they had," said Wheeler. "We came in for the meeting and that's when they told us we had to turn in our badge and our radios, we were picked for the layoff."

Pikeville Medical Center CEO Donovan Blackburn said previous administration overhired employees, which financially hurt the hospital.

"So with the 260 additional employees that we have we elected to dismiss 130 of those through layoffs," said Blackburn.

Wheeler said his family is his biggest concern.

"Recently my wife found out that she was pregnant with a second child, we are expecting one in November," said Wheeler.

Now he is trying to figure out what to do next.

Wheeler said he has seven years experience working as an HVAC Technician and is looking at options, but they are out of the state.

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