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smeagolsfree

Quebecor to close remaining plant in Kingsport

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Quebecor is closing the remaining plant in the Kingsport area laying off more than 400. This follows the same plant cutting that work force in half and the closing of the Hawkins County plant a few years ago. This is a great blow to the economy of Kingsport and the Tri-Cities. I hope there are no more closing in the area because the economy is already depressed as is. Tennessee Eastman had layoffs several years back (the first in the companies history) and have pretty much had a hiring freeze there since. Many of these companies were opened during the or right before the great depression and employed thousand so f people. The Quebecor plant sits in the downtown area of Kingsport and is very old and would be hard to sale or lease. Maybe they can turn it into lofts or shops and make it a destination. But with the state of the economy there I dont think it could happen. :cry:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...8/1436/BUSINESS

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The last six or 7 years have been particually brutal for Kingsport. Eastman, AFG layoffs, Foundry closed. Quebecor now closing. Borden Mills litterly dissappeared over night. These aren't flash in the pan businesses, these have been in Kingsport since the early 20th century. Eastman is hiring about 2000 people in the next couple of years but it's to replace the baby boomers who are retiring and some people are saying happy days are here again but these are not new jobs and the recent trend for Eastman new hires is to live in Johnson City and commute to Kingsport so this might hurt Kingsport in the long run. I myself was layed off almost 2 years ago and just recently gotten a really terrific job in Johnson City after having to commute to Asheville NC last summer. It's not Kingsports fault that the global economy is changing but they never bothered to try and deversify their economy and they especially put all their eggs in the Eastman basket. Eastman during the 60' and 70's had about 20,000 employees and now it's down to 9,000 and dropping and Kingsport is dropping with it.

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I understand where you are coming from. The city fathers in Kingsport have been so complacent for the longest thinking no harm could come to them. That use to be the most progressive city in the Tri-cities and now is falling far behind the rest. They have had a string of do nothing mayors there for a long time.

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Horrible news for Kingsport. 400 hundred jobs being lost is a big economic blow. I hope that new investment will see how valuable and profitable an area Kingsport and the Tri-Cities area can be, esp. with a growing pool of skilled industrial labor to tap into.

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Last summer I read about Quebecor talking about selling off 12 of their then 160 plants, I wonder if this is a result of those plans. I looked up to see if I could find that article, and I found it:

Dyersburg State Gazette:

http://www.stategazette.com/story/1097682.html

They currently have two plants in West Tennessee from what this article says, one in Dyersburg (Dyer Co) that employs 1,100 (its the county's biggest employer, or at least used to be), and one in Covington that employs 540 (Tipton Co). There used to be one in Dresden (Weakley Co) too, but it has been closed for several years now.

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The Tri-Cities area has a large skilled work force, and a good central location for distribution and warehousing activities and for manufacturing expansions. The leaders need to get off their duffs and market the area, set up industrial parks and get agressive. The area cannot live on retirees alone. This is needed so that these fine but unfortunately layed off people can remain in the area.

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