More than 100 employees will soon be without jobs come mid-December. The 35-year-old Boeing Plant on Avondale Mill Road will shut down just before Christmas. Claire Davis spoke with Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority Chairman Clifford Whitby who says they’re focusing on helping employees who won’t have jobs.
Nearly a year ago, the company announced they would bring 200 new jobs to Macon over the next three years by creating a new assembly line for commercial airline fuselages, but now they say the market for big cargo planes, like Boeing's 747, is too soft to support that. “It was very disappointing to the Industrial Authority and its leadership, but we also understand that the overall economic situation impact right here at home and this is a classic example,” said Whitby. “Assist them through all of those resources we have available right here in our local community as well as the state,” he said.
Boeing blames their closing on a decline in the demand for large commercial cargo planes, like the 747. Whitby says some employees will be able to transfer to other Boeing plants throughout the southeast. “There are some workers who will not wish to leave the community. So we have programs with the state and the Labor Department that’s designed to help transition workers in this case,” said Whitby.
Whitby says the Industrial Authority is also looking at other job openings in the aviation field. “There’s a lot of effort going into helping transition these employees over the next few weeks,” said Whitby.
He says Boeing’s factory off Avondale Mill Road is ideal for any industry looking to come to Macon. “How it works with the Middle Georgia Regional Airport and some other companies that are looking to come in. So there are opportunities that we are exploring that I think will be very pleased with once we’re able to discuss them,” said Whitby.
Whitby says if you’re an employee at Macon’s Boeing Plant, contact your Human Resources Department.
There are about 120 Boeing employees at the Macon site. That’s down from more than 500 just one year ago.