Tyson Foods plant to lay off hundreds of workers in Wilkesboro
“It’s going to take a big effect as a whole to businesses as well as people.”
WILKESBORO, N.C. (WBTV) - The small town of Wilkesboro has had a lot of good news lately, like the rebirth of NASCAR at the racetrack and several festivals and concerts.
Friday, however, brought news nobody wanted to hear; layoffs happened at one of the biggest employers in the area, Tyson Foods.
The reason, according to town leaders, is an excess of chicken.
Wilkesboro Town Manager Ken Noland said while this round of cuts hurts the area, it’s nothing they haven’t seen before.
“Tyson is our No. 1 employer. So when you have around 3,000 employees, your employee count will ebb and flow.” Noland said.
That’s of little comfort to the nearly 250 workers who’ll be getting notifications this week.
“Tyson has been a major impact for the whole community as a whole,” a business owner said.
That impact could be felt down the line as small businesses around the area like Two Boros Brewery gear up for a shrinking clientele.
“It’s going to take a big effect as a whole to businesses as well as people,” owner Seth Cohn said. “Honestly, I don’t know how we prepare for a loss at Tyson. We try to look at the positivity of things.”
That hopeful spirit carries through with Linda Cheek, president of the Chamber of Commerce. She was heartbroken to hear of the loss, but hopeful for the outcome.
“We have to look at this as an opportunity. We’re not going to let these folks slide through the system,” Cheek said.
Not only are there lots of open jobs in the county, but the area boasts one of the best community colleges around for people wanting to further their educational goals.
“I do believe there’s other opportunities available,” Cheek said.
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