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Hundreds laid off after closure of Science Museum, Children's Museum

The layoffs are temporary until the museums can re-open.

The enforced closure of Minnesota's entertainment attractions and educational institutions has resulted in hundreds of layoffs at the Minnesota's Science Museum and Children's Museum.

The museums, both located in St. Paul, announced on Tuesday it will be temporarily laying off the majority of its staff members during the COVID-19 shutdown.

The Science Museum is laying off more than 400 workers, 87 percent of its workforce, as it shifts its operations to online-only, with the layoffs coming into effect on Apr. 2.

“Closing was the right decision for the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and visitors, but it is creating a financial hardship during our busiest time of the year,” said Science Museum CEO Alison Brown. 

"Temporarily laying off employees was a tough decision. It is unfortunately necessary as we consider the long-term viability of the museum."

The Children's Museum has taken a similar step, announcing that it's temporarily laying off about 75 percent of its workforce.

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The museum is planning a 12-week closure, which it said will result in the loss of $2 million revenue.

The museum's president, Diane Krizan, has also said she'll take a 75 percent pay cut.

"We are taking immediate steps to put the organization in the best position possible to re-open and continue our mission of sparking children’s learning through play."

You can find some of the Children's Museums online resources here.

The State of Minnesota has acted to cut down the waiting time for unemployment payments so that applications can be processed as quickly as possible. Previously workers would have to be without pay for a week before they can get enroll, but that requirement is now being waived.

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