July 3, 2006 - Posted at 5:38 p.m. CDT
PIGGOTT, AR -- This Fourth of July holiday won't be festive for some folks in one Region 8 town. That's because they learned late last week the factory they work for is shutting down.
Pinnacle Frames and Accents, Inc. announced it is closing its production factory in Piggott, Arkansas, putting more than 90 people out of work. It's a blow that comes hard to this small community.
A memo dated June 28th notified employees that the plant in would close permanently. It also stated that employees could expect to be terminated anywhere from August 29th to September 11th later this year.
In a community of nearly 3900 people, Piggott has worked hard to survive big business, yet maintain a small town atmosphere.
"Everything hurts. Psychologically, it really hurts," said Piggott Mayor Gerald Morris.
Pinnacle Frames and Accent's President Scott Slater told K8 news in a telephone conversation that the company would be consolidating its three factories in Northeast Arkansas into two wood production facilities.
"It is bad news for our town," said Morris, "We're not different then a lot of other small towns that's experiencing this right now."
Morris says the city has been monitoring the company for the last two years and the move wasn't unexpected.
"It's kind of difficult for us to handle right now because we see all those jobs moving off shore to places like China and India and Mexico and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot we can do about it," said Morris, "We can't compete with $5 a day labor."
The company does plans to expand the first shift at their Pocahontas factory...closing the doors in Piggott for good. But there could be a silver lining for the city.
"We do have some potential prospects. We can't talk about those, of course that all remains confidential and nothing is ever sure," said Morris.