Focus on the Family Lays Off 110 Workers

Focus on the Family laid off 110 workers last week, the group's spokesman said Monday.

The influential Christian ministry now has about 750 employees, or nearly half the number it had in 2002.

"The economy continues to be in recession," said Gary Schneeberger, vice president of ministry communications at Focus on the Family, according to Colorado Spring-based newspaper The Gazette. "And people who have given in the past are having financial difficulties of their own."

Among those who were let go are two senior executives, said Schneeberger. But most of the job cuts were from service departments.

Workers affected by the layoffs will remain on the payroll until Aug. 20.

Schneeberger said the group's budget dropped to $105 million for fiscal year 2010-2011, down from $138 million the previous year.

This is the third major round of layoffs for the Colorado Springs-based family ministry since 2008. In 2008, 149 people were laid off and 53 vacant positions were left unfilled. Then in 2009, 75 positions were cut. Both workforce downsizes were due to decreased donations because of the economic crisis.

Over the span of eight years, Focus has released 385 employees.

Schneeberger assured that the downsizing will have "little or no discernible impact to the families" they serve because the ministry has been leveraging technology to increase the capacity and flexibility of the staff over the last few years.

"This is not a happy time, obviously, having to say 'goodbye' to some of our ministry family," he said. "But our mission, and the measure of our success, isn't how many of us work here; it's whether those of us who work here are helping families thrive. We are, and we will keep doing so – robustly."

Founded in 1977, Focus on the Family reaches more than 220 million people in 155 nations.

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