AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) -
McDuffie County leaders are working to help hundreds of people who are still out of a job after a fire permanently shuts down the Georgia-Pacific plant in Thomson. Now, more unemployment is expected in the area after Hollander Sleep Products announced it’s closing their Thomson facility in the fall as the company files for chapter 11 bankruptcy. McDuffie County leaders tell FOX 54 it’s unfortunate that both of these plants are closing in the area around the same time.
Approximately 100 employees are now without a job at Georgia Pacific after the company said their Thompson plant is a total loss. According to Georgia-Pacific the company is meeting with employees to transfer them to positions within the company at the Warrenton, South Carolina location or relocating them to other plants.
The Thomson Department of Labor says it is also providing assistance by working in rapid response to help Georgia Pacific employees find jobs as well.
“There are jobs available in Thomson. I’m just not sure where the skill set is so we work really hard and we will make an effort to place all those people in McDuffie County but realistically they’re going to have to go where their skill sets are in demand,” explained Ginger Carrington, who is the Regional Coordinator for Georgia Department of Labor.
McDuffie County Commissioner Fredrick Favors recognizes that there are not a lot of job opportunities available for those who are and will be out of jobs. He said it is the county commission’s goal to continually push to bring new companies to the area.
“We’ve put in place everything that’s needed in terms of infrastructure, our industrial site, our availability in land, acres, infrastructure, water, and sewage are already in these places. We just hope folks identify us and just come and locate it.,” said Commissioner Favors.
Commissioner Favors hopes that the cyber security growth in Augusta and Columbia County will spill over into Thomson. He also said that the cards are simply stacked against Thomson now and adding that as a small community they are aggressively trying to compete not only regionally or state wide but also nationally.