LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In addition to the 330 layoffs already announced at the Buck Creek facility, GE has announced an employment reduction at the downtown foundry and other locations in Lufkin.
"In total, we expect reductions in workforce of approximately 30 percent in Angelina County," said Laura Bauer, spokeswoman for GE Oil & Gas. "This is a decision we don't take lightly, but one we must undertake for the long-term health and sustainability of the business."
Bauer said about 500 employees in Angelina County will be laid off.
Citing "challenging market conditions," GE also announced a decision to delay a planned $60 million investment in the Lufkin foundry operations.
Mayor Bob Brown, County Judge Wes Suiter and Jerome Luciat-Labry, the president of well performance services for GE Oil & Gas, issued the following statement:
"Challenging market conditions are significantly impacting the demand for and scope of manufacturing operations required at GE's Lufkin foundry. As a result, the Company and the City are conducting a detailed reevaluation of the foundry investment plan to focus on investments that are prioritized and scaled to meet the changing needs of GE's customers. Both GE and the City of Lufkin are committed to maintaining a sustainable manufacturing capability in East Texas."
John Riley, the site manager for the Lufkin office of Texas Workforce Solutions, said that he and his staffers started working with GE employees to help them with the transition as early as 6 a.m. Thursday morning. In addition, the local Workforce Solutions office will be holding a job fair for GE employees from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday at its 210 N. John Redditt location, Riley said.
The job fair will center a "center services orientation." In addition, an unemployment representative from Houston will be on hand during Friday's job fair, Riley said.
Riley said the Texas Workforce Solutions office is also planning to hold job training workshops for laid-off GE employees who wish to change careers.