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Museum of Science and Industry cuts 84 jobs

A spokeswoman cited the “financial challenges” connected to the coronavirus pandemic.

Museum of Science and Industry.
The Museum of Science and Industry has laid off about one quarter of its staff, citing financial challenges associated with coronavirus pandemic. | Sunt-Times file photo.
Sun-Times Media

The Museum of Science and Industry has laid off about one quarter of its staff citing the financial challenges of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum is also requiring the remaining staff to take 10 furlough days and is introducing “graduated pay reductions” for the majority of employees, spokeswoman Julie Parente said.

“We made these decisions to protect the museum’s long-term future, so that we can continue to inspire the inventive genius in everyone,” Parente said in a statement. “We are grateful for everything that our staff has done for the museum and especially for the students, families, educators, schools and communities we serve.”

In total, the museum has laid off 84 of its 358 full-time employees, Parente said.

“Due to decreased attendance as a result of the crisis, we projected a $20 million revenue shortfall this year,” Parente said. “In response, the museum has already made significant cuts to the nonwage budget. Despite these steps, we reached a point where reducing our staff was necessary.”

The museum’s layoffs come on the heels of job losses at the Adler Planetarium, where 120 layoffs of full- and part-time employees was announced in mid-May.

All of the city’s major museums closed in mid-March in response to the spread of the virus.