WHITE SPRINGS, Fla. -- In a community, population 770 and unemployment 16%, losing more jobs is the last thing anyone would expect.
"You hate to see it happen," said Robert Farley.
Farley is White Springs town manager; he said he found out about the layoffs four hours prior to the employees.
"The majority of the Potash Corp. employees come from this surrounding area," he said.
Potash Corp., a major employer, announced it is closing its Suwannee Chemical Plant, permanently, and 350 workers are being laid off.
Mike Williams, a company spokesman said the changes are companywide due to economic market conditions.
"It is a difficult time for our company and our employees," said Williams.
Don Wilson owns the Suwannee Hardware and Feed store and is concerned about the impact.
"I was shocked," said Wilson, "it is going to affect everybody in the community."
Potash Corp. will keep its Swift Creek Chemical Complex open with 350 workers.
Farley said they will do what they can to help the workers.
"We will do what we have to do to lighten the burden," said Farley.
He said the White Springs community lives by a slogan, 'neighbors helping neighbors.'
Potash Corp. will pay the laid off workers for the next 60 days and after that will give them severance based on each employees years of service.
First Coast News