Watertown living community to close in 2014, 205 employees affected

A Watertown business announced approximately 205 employees will be laid off in 2014, according to a release.

Bethesda Lutheran Communities decided to close its Watertown campus at 700 Hoffman Drive and Watertown effective August 31, 2014, according to the release.

By providing the notice more than a year in advance, the employee said it anticipates finding employment for more than half of the affected workers within other Bethesda operations, according to the release.

The company expects the closure to be permanent, according to the release.

The Watertown campus supports 73 individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, according to the release.

The company is working closely with parents and guardians to help them find placement for their loved ones at the campus as quickly as possible, according to the release.

Bethesda said in the release it is prepared to support as many of the individuals as possible in other community programs based on their preferences.

According to the release, since the closing process will depend on the actions of the parents and guardians, it is impossible to determine when the first layoffs will take place. The company said the layoffs could be quicker or later than expected and will have approximately three phases.

Bethesda said in the release they have offered retention bonuses to key staff to help support the people who live on the Watertown campus through the transition.