The Economic Tale of Two Area Cities

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With the world turning toward a global economy, many Northwest Florida jobs are now going overseas.

Call it the tale of two companies; one has to shutdown operation and the other trying to avoid just that fate.

Sykes and Westpoint Stevens maybe located in different counties, but both are feeling the heat brought on by overseas outsourcing. Sykes had been planning to lay off 140 workers, but this week it says it now plans to shutdown its Marianna facility which handles customer calls for Sprint and other corporations.

Terry Ellis is the Westpoint Stevens Pant Manager in Chipley and says, “In order for us to compete against folks that pay a dollar an hour we got to be better at everything."

Located in Chipley, Westpoint Stevens has over 700 people, many of whom have been with the company over 15 years.

Though the company now finds itself in financial trouble, management Terry Ellis remains optimistic.

"I don't know of any specific reasons we would scale back operations here at Chipley, but anytime you’re in bankruptcy all that is out of our hands."

City officials in this region are not happy and say this is a problem that has to be addressed beyond Tallahassee.

Tommy McDonald, who was just re-elected this week, has served on the Chipley City Council as mayor for the last 14 years.

"To stop the overseas shipping of these jobs, it's going to have to get done at the federal level,” says Tommy.