Exide to lay off 167 employees in December

BRISTOL, Tenn. - After millions of dollars worth of investment in Bristol, Tennessee, Exide Technologies is putting the brakes on much of its operations.

Last year, the company announced they planned to idle a majority of their Bristol, Tennessee operations in about a year's time.

Officials told us by December, 167 employees at the plant will be laid off.  That's something Bristol, Tennessee's deputy city manager Mike Sparks was working to avoid. "We met with Exide officials on two occasions hoping that we could help modify that decision," Sparks said.

We learned the plant is simply under-utilized. Exide officials told News 5 at the time they announced the restructuring about a year ago the plant was operating at 34 percent of its capacity.

For those who were not laid off, we asked officials what the outlook is for them and the rest of the plant.

Exide Technologies Director of Communications Susan Jaramillo told us, "we're continuing to kind of look at what to do with the remaining employees, and how will they be impacted as we begin to move this work to our other facilities, so I can't give you a definitive answer on that yet."

With more people soon to be out of a job in the region, many fear this could have a trickle-down effect. "It really hurts this particular one, because the timing of the year; in December," said Richard Venable, CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership.

For local businesses like Cranberry Lane, dealing with layoffs has become the new way they do business. "What we've done to minimize the impact is stock up on a lot of items in the lower price points," said Karen Hester, owner of Cranberry Lane.

Leaders want to see this strategy turned around by keeping layoffs out of our region through fostering economic growth and bringing new business to Bristol. "It becomes our job to replace those jobs," Sparks added.

More facts on these layoffs: 

They do not impact the employees working on the spiral-wound product line.

Officials say employees have been given severance packages.

We also learned there will be a job fair in downtown Bristol in December.

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