Alliance Laundry

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Jackson County leaders find themselves scrambling for answers after one of the area’s major employers announced they'll be moving.

"We're being told by the company that this is an irreversible decision.”

Alliance Laundry Systems broke the news to their Marianna employees Friday morning. The company announced the plans to close the manufacturing plant in Marianna in order to consolidate with its operation in Ripon, Wisconsin.

It’s a move that will leave 400 employees hung out to dry and economic leaders heading for the spin cycle, hoping to convince the company to change their minds.

Bill Stanton, Executive Director, says, "If that's not in the cards, then we need to deal with trying to help the existing workforce that's being displaced and deal with the 300,000 square feet of buildings that are out there and that are owned by the city free and clear."

The majority of the workforce at the plant are native to this area and most likely won't make the move to Wisconsin with the company.

"I would estimate that something upwards of 100 people might well relocate. Most of them being people that were recruited this area in the first place."

As for those that will be left behind and possibly unemployed, some local leaders say the local economy is strong and there's already a high demand for good workers.

Art Kimbrough of the Chamber of Commerce says, "Once we get over the short-term impact and the initial devastation on the individual employees and on the economy, we believe this will be a quick recovery."

The closing of Alliance Laundry Systems’ Marianna manufacturing facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2006.