Gladewater Manufacturing Plant Laying Off 127 Workers

Gladewater's second largest employer is closing down, taking 127 jobs with it. GE Security, a manufacturing facility, is moving all of it's production to Mexico.

The company makes components used in security systems. Residents say the closing will be felt by everyone in this small town. The manufacturing facility has been in Gladewater for more than 15 years.

Lon Welton, with the Gladewater Economic Development Corporation, says the closing will effect everyone.

"It has a ripple effect. It'll go from the parents that have children. You have less income to spend and it trickles down to the food store, to the mini marts, to the doctor's, to the dentist," says Lon.

Nearly all the residents in Gladewater have either worked at GE Security before or knows someone who does. Paulette McNealy's cousin is employed there. She says the layoff will be difficult for her family.

"It is going to be hard on her. She has a daughter and it's going to probably be hard on her."

It's not just the loss of jobs that's difficult to handle, but that they, like many other manufacturing jobs, were lost to Mexico. One woman is so upset, she wrote a letter to President Bush.

 "I think it's wrong that they are going to close a business in Gladewater. It's too small of a business. We need the jobs here."

The city of Gladewater says there is hope. They say, they will help all of the employees who are laid off, find new jobs.

"We'll overcome it. It'll take some time and effort and it's going to take some money. It's going to take some help but we really feel we will overcome this".

The layoffs will begin in April with 8 jobs and will continue until December. GE Security says all of the laid off employees will get a benefits package.

Amy Tatum, reporting.