Sykes Lays Off Almost Half its Marianna Workforce

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The report released Thursday by the labor department found only 4,500 U.S. jobs went overseas during the first quarter of this year. That's a bit of good news for the economy, but little consolation for 145 Jackson County workers whose jobs are heading to the pacific-region.

Sykes Enterprises is shutting down half its Marianna operation and laying off about 145 employees effective August 7.

Lynn Barton is one of those employees. She and the other Sykes employees answer customer service calls for other big companies.

Barton says, "I think it's rotten they didn't give us any more notice. I think it's rotten altogether."

Syke's spokesperson says the lay-offs are due to changing client needs. But they may have more to do with outsourcing. The company is laying off workers here just as it is expanding in Costa Rica and opening in El Salvador."

Employee Lynn Barton says: "Our whole economy is falling down because everything is going overseas. And I think the companies that are doing this aren't being patriotic to their country or fellow Americans."

Another employee who chose not to use her name says "What amazes me the most is that they take trainers and people right out of this center and sent them to Sabu and sent them to India to train people over there. What did they train people for? To take their jobs."

Marianna, Jackson County, and the state of Florida are not just losing jobs. To a certain degree they're also losing part of the $4 million they invested in getting Sykes here. Bill Stanton with the Jackson County Development Council says that he doesn't regret the investment.

Stanton says "There have been previous lay-offs at Sykes and they've been built back up and we have every reason to be optimistic."

Employees that are losing their job don't share that optimism. Instead they worry how they'll make ends meet in the very near future.

The Marianna workers were spared last year when Sykes downsized.