Plant closing, 74 workers to be laid off

By Lindsey Gordon

Published 06/04 2014 09:13PM

Updated 06/05 2014 10:36AM

PARIS -- Workers will soon be out of a job. A plant is closing its doors August 1. Employees at Paris Metal Products found out last week they were being laid off. WCIA-3's Lindsey Gordon has the story. 

There are 74 people who work there; people who will have to pick up and start over again. People like Jason Jordan. He's worked there for three years making lockers. 

"I thought it was damn awful. I have a daughter on the way. I have to regroup again. I've worked very hard the last three years to get to where I am and now I have to start over again," said Jordan.

Lyon Workspace Products owns the plant. Company leaders say they need to downsize. Jordan says it's left them all worried about what's next.

"Some of them were more upset than me. Some of them said they knew it was coming. Others of them are like me. They wonder what they're going to do, where they're going to go and how they're going to make a living now," he said. 

Lyon says workers are encouraged to apply at their other plants, but that doesn't guarantee them a job. Jordan says relocating to Watseka or Byron is not an option. He also doesn't know exactly when he'll be out of work. 

"I don't know when they're going to shut anything down before that. I know we have orders for awhile, but I don't know for how long," he said. 

Paris Mayor Craig Smith doesn't know either.

"Throughout the summer there'll be staged layoffs according to the letter from the company. Now what that means, nobody knows," said Smith. 

What the mayor does know is the economy in Paris is in an upswing even with this hit.

"We're unusual in the state of Illinois in that we've had a very large manufacturing growth within the last five years," he added. "All-in-all, our employment is up."

For now, that means little to Jordan. 

"I guess I'll draw unemployment and look for another job. I hope I find one," said Jordan. 

The mayor says North American Lighting in Paris is looking for as many as 300 workers.

In Springfield, the AT&T call center is also closing in August. More than 200 people work there. The company says it's to consolidate work. A spokesperson says everyone from the Springfield facility is being offered a job at the Rantoul location and money to help move.

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