JAMESTOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a major blow to a small, southern Kentucky community.
Fruit Of The Loom announced Thursday it will close its plant in Jamestown. They plan to move operations to Honduras. The closure means 600 jobs lost in Russell County.
"It's very much a surprise to me. I had no idea. Nobody gave us any indication that this was going to happen," says Russell County Judge-Executive Gary Robertson. "It hurts, it's going to be tough."
The phase out will begin in June.
"It's going to be pretty rough," says Regina Roy. "I mean, I have close friends that work there, that have worked there for up to 25 and 30 years. To see them being out of jobs, for as long as they've worked there, it's going to make it a lot more difficult."
"With these leaving we are going to be losing about a third of our manufacturing jobs," Robertson says.
The Judge-Executive says the effect will go much deeper when you consider the economic impact to the area.
"I don't know, I don't know how to put a word to it," says Robertson. "I mean it's going to be devastating here to our local economy in this county, right now, unless we get something turned around."
"I can already see things are going to go downhill from there," says Roy. "But, we just hope for a better (result) out of it I guess. I hope for some kind of goodness to come from it and maybe there will be another place that reopened in their area."
The Judge-Executive says he's already reached out to Governor Steve Beshear, looking to for a solution and hoping for a replacement.
Fruit Of The Loom says they have given all of the affected employees a 60 day notice. They say they hope to have this transition complete by the end of this year.