Florence leaders rush to recover job losses - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Florence leaders rush to recover job losses

Three Florence plants have announced closure plans this year. (Source: WAFF) Three Florence plants have announced closure plans this year. (Source: WAFF)

Three plant closures in the last six months is costing the Shoals area more than 1,300 jobs. Florence city leaders said they are frantically working to make up for the lost jobs.

Mayor Mickey Haddock said Tuesday that earlier this year, he thought everything was going well in the city - especially when it came to jobs. But that soon came to a crashing halt.

First, it was Hillshire Brands, which announced its closure of their Florence facility. Then, Hon Manufacturing made a similar announcement. Most recently, another furniture manufacturer, Izzy+, notified the public it was shutting down in Florence as well. Three facilities - each with a long history in the Shoals - now have plans to close their doors.

The impending closures have left many with a fear of not being able to find work. Mayor Haddock said it is extremely tough to hear of companies making decisions to consolidate their industry elsewhere, especially when they have nothing negative to tell you in return.

"We've not had a negative - the workforce is great, production is outstanding, the quality of their products is second to none," said Haddock. "We get no negative answers, so it is very frustrating when, all of a sudden, you're losing all these jobs and you can't identify what you can do or what their needs were."

Haddock said any time a city loses a business, it is rough. But he said the loss of three to the community is no less than a suckerpunch. Now he and other leaders are working to make sure other businesses who made the Shoals their home are happy.

The mayor is asking for the community's trust and support - saying that bigger and better things are to come.

"Just know there is a team that is working very hard. SEDA (Shoals Economic Development Authority) has a great staff; they have a really great group of people who are trying to analyze the situation," said Haddock.

Haddock said he and other city leaders are confident they will find someone to come in and take over the Izzy+ facility on Helton Drive.

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