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LANGHORNE - In the midst of last year's holiday season, Santo Gairo convened a staff meeting at the Bucks County Housing Group Inc. that was far from festive.
It was the kind of meeting he hopes he will never have to preside over again.
Gairo had just learned that funding from an outside source for BCHG's employment education program would be about $150,000 less than expected. BCHG was already halfway through its 1995/96 fiscal year and had made staffing and program decisions based on the assumption that the $150,000 would be available for the second half.
What followed was an emotional discussion on how to compensate for the shortfall.
The 30 employees at BCHG at the time were a tight-knit group. Nobody wanted layoffs. They said they would sacrifice raises to spare anyone from losing a job.
In the end, one of the three employees assigned to the employment education program was laid off, but still continued to donate 40 to 50 hours a week of her time to the cause. Another was financially secure enough that she agreed to work for only $10 a week for the rest of …