Nearly 500 jobs lost following healthcare company closing in Opelika
OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - Baxter is an American Multinational Healthcare company. They primarily focus on products to treat kidney disease, like renal filters for dialysis. Formally known as Gambro, they chose to settle in Opelika back in 2005, investing $165 million into their facility.
When Baxter took over, they invested an additional $252 million to double the size of the facility. Mayor of Opelika Gary Fuller says he was stunned to learn of the closing.
Baxter is an international company with plant locations all across the globe. The company told Opelika it was not a reflection of the quality of employees and business climate in the city, but it was brought on by global market conditions and overseas impact. Baxter says they made this difficult decision with considerable thought for their employees and says they are committed to helping them through this transition. Fuller says the city of Opelika is helping as well.
“Part of what we’re trying to do with those Baxter employees to get them resituated, Alabama has what’s called a Rapid Response Team. They’re scheduled to come into Baxter on October 31st and November 1st with sort of a job fair. They’ve invited companies to come and meet Baxter associates that might be looking for a job.”
Fuller says a lot of Opelika industries are looking for employees, and the city is taking steps to make sure workers are qualified for the next job.
“All the time, we’re working with Opelika High School and Southern Union Community College to grow additional work force, and I think we’ve made some progress with that.”
Opelika has dealt with a company departure and layoff in previous years, and the city is confident they will make it through this transition as well.
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