Waynesboro GE's closure in 2020 is a ripple effect to the community

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Two-hundred jobs are threatened by the closure of this plant next December. (Source: WRDW)

BURKE COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – It’s bad news for Waynesboro as hundreds of General Electric workers will be out of a job in December 2020.

The plant employs about 200 people, but the effects from this decision will span beyond the employees who will soon need to look for new work.

But as the plant locks up, inside the doors of businesses like Taylor's Barbecue, they'll feel the effects, too.

“We’re just going to go along with what we’ve been doing,” manager Ricky McGee said. “It is what it is.”

McGee says plenty of GE employees stop in for lunch at Taylor’s. Plus, he says they sometimes do catering for the plant, too.

“Thinking it might hurt business a little bit, but hopefully it won’t,” McGee said.

The director of the Burke County Economic Development says, “We will be working alongside other community partners to ease the transition for these employees and after the closing will coordinate resources to help them find new employment."

GE says they'll offer comprehensive severance packages, but McGee still wonders if that be enough.

“They might be able to find work in Waynesboro, or they'll have to go to Augusta somewhere,” McGee said.

Although the future remains unknown, McGee can hope his fried chicken and cornbread will keep people coming back to Taylor's no matter where they go.

“We have customers come from all over,” McGee said. “They come eat here.”

GE says they're combining the Waynesboro plant with one that does similar operations in Pennsylvania. But until December 2020, the company says it will be business as usual.

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