COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Georgia Power has announced it will be cutting around 570 jobs across the state by October, according to a statement released by the company.
Employees met on Thursday behind closed doors at local offices, as the company unveiled new organizational changes.
"We've got some changes going on in the company," said Robert Watkins, external affairs manager with Georgia Power, "and we felt it important to talk to all of our employees at one time."
According to the statement, the company plans to double available payment locations, to up to 5,300, by mid-October.
Part of that strategy, however, involves cutting nearly 570 jobs statewide, but Watkins said the total impact on the company's 8,000 employees will be less.
"After these changes," Watkins said, "only 270 will be affected."
Watkins said Georgia Power has prepared 300 openings for positions to current employees who will not keep their current jobs. That way, he said, it will end up affecting those 270 employees statewide.
Another part of Thursday's announcement: the company will keep only 27 offices open across Georgia. Watkins said customers in the Fountain City will not see any changes to their interaction with the organization.
A pair of customers turned away from the Columbus office on Veterans Parkway said they know they have other payment options to choose from, like going to Walmart and other local grocery stores, or paying bills through the company website.
However, both Mark Walker and Amber Lawson said they want to have the option of interacting with real people to solve their utility problems.
"I know a bevy of people that like the actual personal experience," Walker said, "Instead of having to trust a computer, or some type of electronic device, to handle their money; their hard-earned money."
"There's things that you can't address online," Lawson said, "that you can't handle in the same manner that you could in person."