What a Difference a Week Makes
On Tuesday, KOMU was back in Mexico to cover some very different and less positive economic news.
"The question is, where do you go from here?" That's what more than 150 Sporlan employees are asking in Mexico.
"We got a good trend going. Unemployment is down and retail sales are up." That's what Mexico Director of Economic Development Dave Boone said just six days ago.
Now, he's singing a much different tune after the Sporlan Valve company plant in Mexico announced it would be closing this fall.
"It's a very unfortunate situation when 153 people lose their job," Boone said.
Employees found out Monday the plant will begin downsizing on August 18.
The doors will close for good on September 30, when Sporlan's lease on the building runs out.
Management at the Sporlan facility refused to be interviewed on camera, but told KOMU that some of the 153 employees will be able to transfer to another facility in Washington, Missouri.
They also said the closure is purely a business-based decision, and the employees were hard working and dependable.
Boone said the employees could probably find jobs in Mexico at places like Brookstone, Dawn Foods, True Manufacturing and the Home Depot distribution center.
Each is looking to add 30 to 50 new employees.
Boone added the closure of the plant doesn't reflect the economic stability of Mexico. In fact, other companies are ready to jump in when Sporlan leaves.
"Just Friday we had a call from a St. Louis based company looking for 50,000 square foot with rail, so we already have one very good lead that we're pursuing," Boone said.
And that's the good trend Mexico wants to keep going.
Officials said even with the loss of the Sporlan plant, Mexico has added more than 750 new jobs just in the last year.