Hallmark reduction could mean some East Texans are out of a job

By Holley Nees - bio | email

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - Within Center's city limits, a Hallmark plant operates with the help of 79 employees.

Hallmark said they just announced the overall layoffs and they are not sure how many and if any layoffs will take place at the Center location.  However, they said since the location is part of their U.S. operations, layoffs are definitely a possibility.

The city said the news is not good, but they are in better shape than other parts of the nation.

Center City Manager Chad Nehring said, "Hallmark is obviously one of the national employers and valuable to the employment base that we have in the community, not a huge number of employees relative to the total workforce in the city, in the county, but certainly any reduction in force would be an economic impact and certainly something we'd like to avoid."

In a written statement the company's president and chief executive officer, Donald J. Hall, Jr. said, "these actions are all the more difficult and emotional because of the strong and personal culture we share at Hallmark.   Despite all the steps we have taken to date to avoid eliminating additional jobs, the state of the economy and its impact on our business require us to take further action."

For now, the company remains a fixture in the community.

Hallmark said nationwide, they will reduce their workforce by over 550 jobs.   The company said a voluntary severance program is available for eligible hourly employees.