Metro, the regionally elected government for Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties, announced Thursday that it will be laying off about 40% of its workforce.  

In a letter sent to Metro staff Thursday, the agency’s Chief Operating Officer Marissa Madrigal said there will be anywhere from 5% to 20% in schedule reductions or furloughs in all departments.  

Most of the impacts will be felt at the Oregon Convention Center, the Oregon Expo Center, the Portland’5 Centers for the Performing Arts and the Oregon Zoo, she said.   

Madrigal said healthcare benefits for laid off employees will be extended for three additional months.  

Metro is trying to focus the impact of schedule reductions and furloughs on its highest income earners, Madrigal said.  

“We are taking these unfortunate actions with an eye towards the future,” Madrigal wrote to staff. “My goal is to preserve the amazing venues, innovative programs and ground-breaking initiatives that Metro – that each of you – has created. And when we’ve gotten past the worst of this pandemic, when the economy rebounds, you have my word that I will do everything in my power to bring our most valuable assets, our employees, back to Metro as quickly as I can.”

Metro oversees land-use, trash collection and recycling across Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. It also runs the convention center, most of the large public performance spaces and a network of parks and nature preserves.