Alliance Laundry Closing its Doors

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Alliance Laundry Systems is closing the Marianna plant next September.

About 400 employees will be without a job in a town of 7,000 people.

There are two opinions about what this closure will do to Marianna.

The Marianna plant was the only one in the world to make Maytag appliances outside of the Maytag Company, and the very first computerized commercial washing machine.

After 39 years, Alliance Laundry Systems announced they are moving their plant to the existing Wisconsin facility.

Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Director Art Kimbrough says the impact will be short lived.

Kimbrough says there will be new jobs for the construction and workforce at Graceville State Prison, opening in a couple of years, and at the new Family Dollar distribution center.

Plus, the county's unemployment rate is three percent, so now the county will have a skilled workforce pool.

Jackson County Economic Council Director Bill Stanton, who used to co-own the company in its early days, is devastated.

He says it's even worse than the Russell closings, since there is no other place in our area that can offer similar skilled or paying jobs.

Holding up last year's Floridian full page ad celebrating 36 years, Stanton says the company seemed happy in Marianna and the closing was a surprise to him.

Alliance is offering $3,000 to the employees who stay with the company until the plant closes and a service award for those long term employees.

Stanton said most of the workers had been at the company for 15 years, and this is the only job most of the workers have ever had.