Heartland Employer Lets Entire Workforce Go
By: Erica Byfield
MURRAY, Ky. --Jakel Incorporated in Murray, Kentucky handed out the latest round of pink slips to its entire workforce. The plant employees 138 people.
Jakel specializes in making automotive parts. The company will close its Murray plant for two reasons: a soft economy and housing markets.
The company has closed three plants in the Heartland over the last ten years. All of those jobs went to either Mexico or China.
Jordan Gray may say it best, "Just about everybody here in towns worked for them, I kind of wonder where everyone is going to go."
In fact, Gray used to work for Jakel himself. He left the Murray plant last year and says he knows how hard it will be for those 138 people to find a new job.
"It took me forever to find a job and i now work right next door."
A Jakel company spokesperson says they are trying to make the transition smoother for their current employees by "actively working with the unemployment office" to help workers find new jobs in the area.
James Cooper says he wants that to be the truth because he's sick of seeing people in Calloway County out of work. "I think it kind of sucks because they are taking all of our jobs and moving away and we're forced to go somewhere else to work... farther away from where we live... and it's hard to find jobs."
Mark Manning the President of Murray/Calloway County Economic Development Corporation understands the reasons, but hates to see his city loose another large employer.
"We're obviously disappointed but we understand that businesses have to make tough decisions when the markets are down."
Jakel's Murray plant will officially close in September.