EDC prepares to deal with hundreds of lay-offs - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

EDC prepares to deal with hundreds of lay-offs

July 20, 2005

Albany- The Albany Dougherty County Economic Development Commission Chairman says he is concerned that hundreds of the top manufacturing jobs in Southwest Georgia will be lost.

So the E.D.C. has already contacted state leaders, gearing up to deal with the possible layoffs. Bobs Candies new owners announced they are considered closing their Albany plant in October. It is not official yet, but almost 250 workers would be left without jobs, losing the plant's seven million dollar a year economic impact.

Merck's Flint River plant in Dougherty County will lay off 55 workers in September. Merck is losing their patent on cholesterol medication Zocor, and will cut back on making ingredients for that drug.

The Governor and Lt. Governor have been consulted about preparing a plan, when those layoffs happen. "We could have a leg up by going ahead and having a package ready, and getting that information out," said Mark Davis, E.D.C. Chairman.

Davis said they have already started work to find a new manufacturer to move into the Bobs Candies plant, if Farley and Sather's decides to move the operation to Mexico.

They have also contacted the Albany college's and technical schools about possibly hundreds of laid off workers that could be seeking job training.

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