JEFFERSONVILLE — A notice sent to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development has revealed that 257 workers will soon be out of a job in Jeffersonville.
In a document sent on Jan. 6, Tri-Starr Management Services, Inc., outlined its intentions to cease operations at Legacy Supply Chain Services.
All operations at the 1251 Port Road facility will end, with the move expected to be permanent. Layoffs will officially begin March 8 and take place over a two-week period.
Listed in the letter as the highest-level official for the union representing many of the workers is Jammie Willen, president of Local 84807. Attempts to reach Willen on Thursday were unsuccessful.
No reason for the closure has been given by company officials. Information on the entire ordeal is scarce in the city at this time.
Jeffersonville City Council President Matt Owen said that one thing is known — any situation where jobs are lost is a bad one.
“It definitely leaves a lot of uncertainty for those folks that work there," he said. "You don’t want to sell short how important this is to these folks. We don’t want to discredit the fact that over 200 people are losing their jobs. That’s definitely a major setback, especially right after the holidays."
The last time a job loss of this scale occurred was when Jeffboat launched its last ship in 2018, Owen added. For decades, the company was one of the largest shipbuilders in the country, employing hundreds of Jeffersonville residents.
When plans to shut down emerged, it was announced that over 270 employees would be affected by layoffs.
At-large council member Scott Hawkins agreed with Owens' comparison, also noting that the Colgate plant's closure over a decade ago had a similar impact on the community. It isn't uncommon to find many long-time residents of the city whose parents or grandparents worked at the factory at some point, he said.
“When Colgate left, it left a hole in Jeffersonville," Hawkins said. "That was a big hurdle to overcome. Just a couple of years ago, you have Jeffboat leaving. Again, that was an iconic Jeffersonville institution building ships for a very long time. That was a big punch in the gut."
Despite the layoffs, the council members added that Legacy's closure isn't necessarily indicative of the local economy as a whole. Owen said it's just a matter of a company being bought out, rather than shutting down due to poor performance.
"This is an instance of a company growing in Jeffersonville to the point where they were bought out," he said. "Unfortunately, the Jeffersonville site will close. It’s not a situation where times are bad for the company. We’re still seeing new companies express interest in Jeffersonville. We're expecting more of that with the growth seen in places like River Ridge.”
Of course, it's still a troubling time for the families affected, but Owen believes that the city is capable of providing comparable employment for those who have lost their jobs.
"From our standpoint, we want to see companies continue to grow and thrive in Jeffersonville," he said. "What we’re going to do is to try to remain focused so that those jobs are replaced. We want to make sure we have plenty of opportunities for those folks here locally.”