Roanoke reacts to news of future layoffs at FreightCar America

By  | 

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Just across the street from the main gate of FreightCar America is The Hole in the Wall, a place where employees can catch a lunch special, or a beer after work.

And news of possible layoffs leaves bartender Ivory Spradlin with concern for her customers.

"It's sad," Spradline told WDBJ7. "I don't want to see 'em hurt financially, because a lot of them do have families and kids, and that's their only means of work, you know. I hate to see anybody get laid off."

The notice from the company says a reduction of new railcar orders will make it necessary to lay off 168 workers beginning in mid-April.

The company says it hopes the layoffs will be temporary, but it cannot predict when employees would be called back to work.

Beth Doughty is the Executive Director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership.

"FreightCar's business in particular is affected by freight movement and also by coal in particular," Doughty told WDBJ7, "so I think the history shows that their business is cyclical, their employment is cyclical and while it's difficult to predict what happens, history shows that the jobs do come back."

Workers who decide to look for other employment should have opportunities.

Doughty says Eldor Corporation and Canatal Steel are just two examples of companies in the area that have announced plans to hire in the very near future.