TRACO suspends operations -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

TRACO suspends operations

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - More layoffs announced Monday in South Georgia. This time again in Decatur County which already has an 11% jobless rate, the worst in Southwest Georgia.

TRACO is suspending operations indefinitely at it's Bainbridge plant.

The company manufactures windows and doors. They say business has slowed because of the housing and construction slump.

Monday, all 70 employees at the Bainbridge facility, received a 60 day warning notice of the closing.

With over one-tenth of the population out of work, people in Decatur county can't seem to get a break.

Last month, Georgia Pacific in Early county laid off workers, many of which lived in Bainbridge and Decatur county. And late last year, the American Fibers and Yarns plant closed, sending 250 people into unemployment.

And now more layoffs in Decatur County. Employees at the TRACO plant in Bainbridge, got a letter Monday saying the plant will close in 60 days.

TRACO manufactures windows and doors and opened the facility in Bainbridge three years ago. Originally it employed close to 200 workers. Currently, 70 people work at the Bainbridge plant.

"They came to us today and told us they were going to have to temporarily shut things down for awhile. They are in that segment that's hit the hardest, construction," said Rick McCaskill, Executive Director of the Development Authority.

TRACO officials say they are suspending operations indefinitely. They say if the economy turns around, they'll re-evaluate the closing.

"We're going to do everything on our end to get those jobs back and get them back open. They're doing the same," said McCaskill.

And TRACO's announcement couldn't have come at a worse time. January numbers show Decatur county's unemployment rate at 11.3% meaning there are now almost 1400 unemployed people in Decatur county.

"I'm here today trying to find a job."

Frederick West is one of them. He was laid off his job at Easom Peanuts in Donalsonville in January.

"The job I had, it took me 9 months to find that job," said West.

Now he devotes everyday to finding a new way to make ends meet.

"Sometimes I get to the point where I want to give up. But I can't give up, because I have a son. But it's really hard. And I'm not the only one...but it's just hard," said West.

Decatur county already has the highest unemployment rate in Southwest georgia.  And that number will surely climb, with the announcement of job losses at TRACO.

TRACO officials say some employees will be kept on staff for maintenance of the facility while operations are suspended. The Jobless rate in the Southwest Georgia Region matches the statewide average at 8.6%. Feedback

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