WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 23, 2010, 09:15 AM

Goodrich job cuts a tough break for Jamestown's economy

Jamestown, ND (WDAY TV) - A major manufacturer in Jamestown is making cuts. Goodrich Corporation officials have laid off 60 employees. The reductions are on top of almost 60 positions that were cut last year. The manufacturer makes rollers and break systems to get cargo on and off commercial aircraft.

Company officials say there is less demand for their product. The city depends heavily on those jobs to keep the economy running. Jamestown's mayor says it's a big blow, one that they can't afford.

CLARICE LIECHTY/JAMESTOWN MAYOR: " I did not expect this many layoffs to be coming."

But that doesn't soften the economic shock this may have on her community.

"We don't have the oil. We don't have the business that Fargo and Grand Forks has that seems to feed upon themselves."

Liechty says their city's sustenance and growth depend on the workers at plants like Goodrich spending their money, here. She says it could also stunt housing growth.

"There isn't new building because there's already available housing so it gets to spiral downward."

There are some job opportunities in Stutsman County. Right now, on the Job Service website, there are 137 jobs available in the county ranging anywhere from farm and construction help, to sales and retail.

KELLY BOSSERT/JOB SERVICE OF NORTH DAKOTA: "They should be able to absorb them and hire them on."

Job Service's Kelly Bossert says some of the laid off plant workers have trickled into the office. But says employment in the area won't start to spike for about another month.

"As the spring comes around, more people getting back to work, farm workers and things and some of those workers may have those jobs right now."

And city leaders hope the need for workers this spring time can offset the slashes in jobs that have already taken place. Liechty (LICK-TEE) says she's been talking with Senator Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad to push for military contracts for manufacturers in Jamestown.