Wiregrass Plant Lays Off 100 Employees

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

The struggling economy has another Wiregrass company laying off 100 people.

The air is usually filled with the roars of the machines at Paragon Panels of Alabama in Clayton, but lately, those sounds have been silenced.

Plant Manager Sam Kelly said, "We have decided to keep the plant down for an additional 30 to 45 days because of [the] economic climate."

Paragon Panels is a company that makes fiberboard, used for building things like desks and cabinets.

Kelly says the company began laying off employees in December. "We have a total of about 110 employees and we have about 100 that are affected by the layoff," he said.

The company's layoff has been a shock to some residents, especially after hearing about last week’s layoff with Dixon Lumber Company in Eufaula.

Clayton Resident Leslie Farmer said, "It's sad that they gonna’ lose their jobs, but there's plenty opportunities around here that's fixin’ to be open."

Farmer is a resident of Clayton and says though the layoffs are disappointing, there may soon be new doors opening for those who have been put out of a job. She adds that a "Chicken plant right down the road is fixin’ to hire 50-100 people and then there's several places in Eufaula that's supposed to hire anywhere from 50-100 people."

While Kelly says the layoff is temporary, he does have some concerns about the company and its employees. "The biggest hurt out of this is we could lose a lot of good employees that may go find jobs elsewhere,” he says. “We don't want that to happen and so we want to bring back as many as we can."

Kelly says the company put the production line to a halt back in December.

In the meantime, the current employees are maintaining the office.

The company hopes to be back in full force within the next couple of months.

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