News that Lexmark will lay-off hundreds of local workers has city leaders worried about their finances. The Lexington-based firm will reduce it’s workforce by 350 full-timers and 200 contract employees. According to one city official, such a job loss could result in a million dollar loss in revenues. Mayor Jim Gray says ‘our hearts go out to this folks who have been hit with this bad news, losing their jobs.’ Gray adds there can be no complacency when it comes to job creation.
The mayor says Lexmark is in a highly competitive electronics business…
“They’ve said that they’re gonna stay here in Lexington. Our best strategy as a city is to wrap out arms around the company, acknowledge the challenge that the employees are having, those who have been laid off,” said Gray.
Gray says the first order of the day is to aggressively encourage business. Likewise, Vice Mayor Linda Gorton hopes new jobs can help offset the Lexmark layoffs.
I’m hoping that we can overcome the job loss by bringing more jobs here. That’s got to be our goal, always,” said Gorton.
Fellow council member Ed Lane thinks there’s reason to believe workers riffed by Lexmark can remain in the local workforce.
“Pretty likely, I mean we’ve got Hewlett Packard and I-B-M’s here. You’re got Zerox Corporation, Lockee Martin, Bellkan. There’s a lot of quality high tech companies who might need people from Lexmark,” added Lane.
Finance Commissioner Jane Driskoll says the impact on city revenues could range from 800-thousand to a million dollars. She says much will depend on the generosity of severance packages given layed off workers.