POSTED: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 6:54pm
UPDATED: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 2:09pm
TYLER — Carrier says it will close its Tyler plant in 2013.
Now the question is, what's going to happen to the people who work there, and how will this affect the local economy?
We're told 500 employees will have to look for work.
But any time a business as large as this closes down, there are always ripple effects.
Many of them are as close as down the street.
Darrun Jackson works next door to Carrier.
Seven of his relatives work at the Carrier plant.
"Some don't even have plans," Jackson said. "They don't know what they're going to do."
Tom Mullins of Tyler Economic Development says the average salary for Carrier employees is about $19 an hour.
"It's going to be about $400 to $500 million a year we will lose in the local economy," he said.
Mullins says the Carrier building will be sold, and the jobs may go to Mexico, where the employees can work for about $19 dollars a day.
Teodora's Enchiladas it is right down the road from Carrier.
Owners tell KETK they had employees come in and buy lunch here on a fairly regular basis, but over the past few months they have seen business decline.
Now they hear the news about Carrier, they're not sure if they will be able to stay in business either.
"I'm thinking of putting something out there to help us gain what we had," says Vanessa Valdez of Teodora's. "I don't know what it's going to be, but we've got to find something."
"If you took a 30 or 40 mile radius around Tyler, you'd find dozens of smaller companies that provide parts and components on a daily basis to that Carrier plant," Mullins said. " ... They'll be impacted."
As for Jackson's relatives, he says his job is to keep their spirits up.
"My heart goes out to all those workers over there," Jackson said. "God's going to work it out for us. That's all I can say."
KETK spoke with a man who works at Carrier.
He declined to go on camera, but did say the morale inside the building is dreary.
Everyone is still working hard though, because they have to keep their job ... for the time being.