The Mayor of Jenkins said 15 percent of the workforce in that city will be without a job by the middle of summer.
This is not the first round of layoffs this year in the city of Jenkins or Letcher County. Jenkins Mayor G.C. Kincer said he was sad to hear the news that more than five dozen people will be out of a job by the end of June.
“It was real sad, a very sad time for us all in the city of Jenkins,” said Kincer.
Mayor G.C. Kincer said he was not happy to hear that Baker Hughes, formerly known as BJ Services, will be closing their plant in the Jenkins gateway industrial park.
“Basically that will pretty well take everybody out. they may have some administrative people that they are keeping, that would be minimal, one or two at the most.>
The mayor said there were some mild indicators that this might have been coming.
“We first lost Equitable gas company when they left here, a month or so ago, that was a surprise to us all, they left to go to Pennsylvania to the Marcella shells where there are excessive amounts of natural gas there, so that sort of made sense,” said Kincer.
Fifteen percent of the entire workforce within the city limits, 62 people, will be affected.
“That is an unusual number for that many to be leaving at one time and it's going to hurt,” said Kincer.
In a letter to the mayor, the company cited reasons including “conditions in the U.S. energy market” and the price of natural gas falling to a 10-year low which reduced the need for the services.
“When you are that size of a company, you have got to make your decisions i suppose and i am sure they chose their best route,” said Kincer.
One official from the company confirmed the "restructuring" of that location. No official comment has been made by the company itself. All of the lay offs are expected to take place by June 29th of this year.
This news also comes less than two weeks after more than 160 miners at the Sapphire mine in Whitesburg learned they would be losing their jobs in June.