April 21, 2009
OPELIKA, AL - The Opelika City Mayor is unveiling a preliminary recovery plan for the loss of the B.F. Goodrich Plant. The plant's parent company, Michelin North America, announced it would be closing the Opelika plant last week. More than a thousand workers will be displaced as of October 31st of this year.
Last week's news is still sinking in, but this week Mayor Gary Fuller says the city has to shift focus to the present. The mayor is looking to hire NFK Consulting to provide guidance in replacing jobs.
"They'll be coming to do an assessment, to look at our available workforce. What we want to do is talk about the skill sets of those thousand at B.F. Goodrich," Mayor Gary Fuller said. NFK Consulting landed Mobile, Alabama one of the largest development projects in North America by bringing in Thyssen Krupp Steel.
"We want them to tour that building and see what possible uses their could be for that facility. That's 1.7 million square feet," the mayor said. He adds he also plans to utilize Southern Union Community College for retraining employees and the Region 8 Workforce Development Council for training resources.
"We've got great leadership with these organizations and all of them have pledged including the Governor and he's pledged to work with us as well," said Fuller. The mayor says he plans to use every resource available to him, and he wants to make sure all organization's on the same page.