Layoffs announced at the DECC

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Staff cuts have been announced at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center which extend all the way to top leadership positions. WDIO news confirmed Wednesday evening that seven positions are being eliminated, up to and including the director of operations post held by Jeff Stark for decades.

Three of the seven positions were already vacant due to departures within the past six months, but the remaining four positions are current employees.

The DECC successfully lobbied to the Duluth City Council last week to be granted a $1-million dollar line of credit as a safety net due to current financial concerns. Wednesday night, the public began learning that the financial struggles at the DECC have reached the point for the need of staff cuts.

Jeff Stark has been Director of Operations at the DECC for nearly 30 years. In a statement he shared Wednesday night he said…

“October 2nd was my 28-year work anniversary at the DECC and after playing host to the Minnesota Wild on October 3rd, I was informed that my position was being eliminated due to DECC financial shortfalls. This was an extremely difficult bit of news to take in and it upended our world.”

Stark’s statement also said, “I know that it’s just a job, but it was a uniform I wore proudly for almost 3 decades. It’s felt like a part of my identity for so long that now I’ll have to navigate untangling the person from the role. I appreciate all of the people I’ve been able to work with over the years, the ever-changing events we got to be a part of creating, and the sense of community that goes along with making sure the show goes on. My thoughts are with the co-workers and community partners that will have to pick up the tasks that I had in the air and to all of the people that made this job fun to do.
I’ll take some inspiration from my work anniversary, reflect for a brief time, and then refocus on the path in front of us.
I appreciated this adventure and the people that were a part of it. Thank you everyone.”

WDIO news will be following up on this story in the coming days and keep you up to date on the latest developments.