Smyth County

Merrilat announces plants in Atkins, VA will close

ATKINS, Va. -     January 14th is the date Merrilat announced it will close its doors to both of its plants for good.
"It's devastating in this community that Merrilat, that's one of our biggest industries here, it shutting down. it's going to be quite a few people really, really hurt bad," says resident Eddie Hess. Resident Mark Alexander says, "I just found out about it, I'm very sad about it, and again, I mean it's just another blow to the community."

   The company, which makes kitchen and bathroom cabinets, employs close to 300 workers and Hess tells News 5 it will affect people he knows. "I got a buddy of mine went there right after high school and hes been working there, I'd say it'll devastate him too," says Hess.

Residents say not only will it hurt the employees of Merrilat, it will also be a trickle down affect for other businesses in the community. "Chain goes down, I know some of the drivers that come and get the dust from up there too, therefore they may lose their jobs too," continues Hess.
Alexander tells us, "you can only keep losing jobs out of the community for so long, it affects everybody, all the retail businesses, everything around here."

This is something, Hess says, he hopes will turn around quickly, "I just hope somebody can come in here and open some of these factories back up"

     Company spokesperson Jonathan Klinger told News 5 that Merillat will offer severance packages for workers and they will do what they can to help them find other jobs.
He tells us  the closing is because of the downturn in the economy.

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