Plant Closes, Some Workers Say Job Fair Offers Little Hope

Batesville- More than 300 former GDX employees met for a job fair Tuesday and most of them say the plant's closing comes as a surprise to them.

"It was a shocker," said employee Merv Sanders. "I was friends with a lot of people up there and I'm gonna miss them."

With the holiday season fast approaching, some workers say the fact that they're out of a job is starting to hit home with them.

"Most of the people who work there are old and it's going to be really hard for us to find jobs," said employee Tracy Bennett.

The Batesville Chamber of Commerce says two companies have expressed interest in moving into the area but some employees who are now looking for work, say it's little consolation.

"The last year they led us to believe that they were going to work something out and even up until September, I believed we were still safe," said employee Karen Passmore.  "All of a sudden in October we're done for."

The Arkansas Employment Office, along with banks and healthcare agencies, were on hand to offer up help. Even so, the 300-plus workers coming out of the GDX plant may have a tough time re-integrating into the workforce.

"It's probably about 40 percent or maybe even lower of the workers who are ready to get back to work," said Theresa Hollifield. "They're going to need some help with that."

The last day for GDX employees is Nov. 18.

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