Lufkin Industries layoffs effect many

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - 173 Lufkin Industries employees were laid off on Friday. Amanda Kelley lost the job she's held since her senior year of high school. "I've got horses, animals, things that depend on me. So I can't let my life fall apart," said Kelley.

This is Kelley's second time laid off from Lufkin Industries. Although she's headed to the unemployment line along with the others laid off, she said she doesn't feel sorry for herself. It is her co-workers that she is worried about. "There's people who got family. I mean I'm a single woman, there's people that are going to have a much harder time than I am," said Kelley.

Amid the recession, Lufkin Industries made the tough decision to cut-down the size of their labor force. There is too much supply, and too little demand.  "As a result of that we've had to size our business to our customer's needs," said Paul Perez, Lufkin Industries Vice President.

The parking lot was full on Friday, but come Monday it won't be. The empty parking spaces will serve as a reminder of how many jobs were lost.

"Financially it's going to be a struggle. From making so much to going to unemployment. I've been through it before. It's hard, it's hard to find a job in Lufkin," said Kelley. Kelley said she is thinking about relocating to find work.

Kelley said she won't let the slumping economy hold her down. "I'll bounce up from it. It'll just make me stronger," said Kelley.

Perez said that when the economy picks-up the people who were laid off may be able to get their job back. He said it was a tough decision, a decision he didn't want to make.