Batesville Takes Steps to Help GDX Employees

BATESVILLE, AR -- In one month the doors will close for good for employees of GDX Automotive in Batesville.  The plant closure was announced earlier this week and since then city and state leaders have worked tirelessly to find alternatives.

"I moved in this area in 1982 and started work out there and I've been there ever since so, that's all I know," said Bob Morris.

GDX employee Bob Morris said he's worked for the company for more than two decades he's heard rumors this could happen since his first day on the job.

"This had been coming down the pipe for a long time so some are relived some are shocked.  I'm almost a little relieved myself," said Morris.

A press conference held on Friday by city leaders in Batesville is showing employees of GDX Automotives and the community what they are prepared to do to support them.

"During this time of transition when they've already decided the fate of GDX, let us all decide that we will work to take care of these families, especially at this time of the year," said Jonah Shumate.

Batesville Chamber President Jonah Shumaker said there are two companies that are considering coming to the Batesville area.  Shumaker tells Region 8 News they are prepared to offer incentives to companies that would move into the area, including helping them move their equipment into town.

"We're doing everything we can to help these families, to help these workers, to help the community make it through this time," said Shumaker.

This is one community that is taking a pro-active approach to dealing with devastating news.  The closure of GDX will impact about 300 employees.

"The last thing we want to do.  The last thing I think any community in Arkansas should do is wait around for bad news," said Shumaker.

But for most of the workers who are just trying to make it day to day the big question is what now?

"The company has offered me a way of making a living and I'm grateful for that, but now what do we do," said Morris.

To help answer that question: a job fair will be held on November 9th in Batesville from seven a.m. until seven p.m. to offer job alternatives for current and former GDX employees.