Plant closings in the Greenwood area

Published 12:29 am Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Everyone in the Greenwood area seems to be feeling the pain of recent factory closings.

Friction Holdings, formerly Raybestos, and Hamlin Sheet Metal Co. have announced the shutting down of their plants in the Greenwood-Leflore Industrial Park within the past month, resulting in a loss of more than 180 jobs.

Even companies that have remained open have struggled through a national recession. For example, Viking Range Corp., Greenwood’s largest employer, has announced 69 full-time layoffs this year.

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Wayne Self, president of the Leflore County Board of Supervisors, says a change in strategy will be needed.

He says the Industrial Board will continue to pursue all types of industry, but the community can no longer depend on recruiting traditional low-end manufacturing jobs as a staple. Those have been replaced by high-tech, high-skill jobs that require a certain amount of training.