Delphi plant laying off employees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Delphi plant laying off employees

May 10, 2007

Fitzgerald - - Hundreds of people in Fitzgerald will soon be jobless. Some employees at the Delphi auto battery plant have already been laid off. The company plans to phase out all of the production staff there by mid-summer.

Delphi has been an important part of the Fitzgerald community for 30 years.

"When they came of course, it was Delco Remy General Motors and of course at the ground breaking, I had the president of General Motors and Jimmy Carter here when he was Governor and a lot of those high profile folks," says Mayor Gerald Thompson who was in office on that eventful day.

Thirty years later, it's a sad day.

"It's not good news when you lose jobs," says Economic Development Director John Flythe.

He says all is not lost.

"We have efforts on the way to try to bring other companies in, or one company in particular, that has an interest in the facility. Were hoping we can entice them to come to the community and maybe after the close down is completed, then we'll start up a new company in the facility."

He hopes that will happen by the end of the year.

Representatives from East Central Technical College plan to meet with Delphi employees who are losing their jobs.

"We plan on being there next week to help them and answer any questions they may have about layoff, what we can do to help out on this side with expenses for tuition, those kinds of things to let them know what will be available," says Connie Coffey.

Mayor Thompson says the community had time to prepare for this since Delphi notified city leaders of the shutdown early this year.

"We've known this. Its not something that's a surprise to us. So we'll be moving right on through it."

And working on more opportunities to keep a major segment of the city's workforce thriving.  

Delphi representatives did not want to tell us how many employees have been laid off in these past couple of weeks. They just said "a large number."

Almost 300 people worked there before the layoffs began. City leaders plan to announce another business coming to Fitzgerald next year that will provide 40 additional jobs the first year and 90 the second year.

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