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      Empire Aero Company to shed more than 200 jobs

      P lagued with problems because the airline industry is in bad shape , E mpire Aero Center in Rome plans to shed up to 203 jobs by May 10th, which could mean its entire workforce. "People aren't flying right now, so they're parking planes," says mechanic Dave Wuest, who has been with Empire Aero for three years.

      W uest and his co - workers are responsible for checking the structural integrity of all types of aircraft, and fixing older planes. Wuest says, "Alot of people moved from Indiana, and all over the countryside. And brought their families here with schools and everything. Uproot their whole life."

      A t the Mohawk Valley Edge economic development agency, president Steve DiMeo has sat in on talks over the future of the company. The workers at Empire are highly skilled and highly trained. Matching them with new jobs around the city of Rome will be tough. Dimeo says, "We don't want to see anybody leave the region, we want to bring people back into the region. Hopefully some of this work could be absorbed by other employers."

      M ay is the cutoff month for workers at Empire Aero Center. In the meantime, it's parent company is seeking buyers to preserve some or most of the jobs. But given the state of the economy and the lack of work coming in. That could be a tough sell.