Forsyth County, NC -- A major round of layoffs is headed for the Dell plant in Forsyth County. Wednesday, about 600 employees will lose their jobs. The layoffs are part of the process of the entire plant shutting down, which Dell says will happen by the end of the year. Not only do the layoffs mean more people in local unemployment lines, but area businesses are concerned about what the layoffs mean for them.
Jesse Thompson at Little Richard's Bar-B-Que has served Dell employees lunch since the plant opened in 2005. He says he expects to take a hit once they're gone.
"There were some businesses that moved to this area because of Dell and Dell eats here, there are other businesses that eat here, so I was worried that the other businesses may not come in or they'd have to shut down and follow Dell wherever they go," said Thompson.
Many of the approximately 600 laid off Dell employees may trade sitting in Thompson's booths for standing in the unemployment line, and significantly adding to local unemployment numbers. As of September, Forsyth County had a 9.5% unemployment rate.
Archie Hicks with the Employment Security Commission said his office will do what it can to help the laid off employees. "We never like to see them go, we'd rather see them come obviously, but we're going to work through this as we've worked through other disruptions in the past," he said.
Hicks said some Dell workers have already turned to his office for help with what to do next. "We're going to contact employers, see what opportunities they have for them and try to get them back into the job market as soon as we can, " said Hicks.
Having the experience at Dell on their resumes could give the laid off employees a leg up on the competition, according to Hicks. He said, "These are pretty well-trained people, they have good work ethic, people do know why they're out of work, there's no question they quit or got fired, so I think they would be attractive to any employer."
Hicks encourages the workers losing their jobs to keep a positive attitude and network as best they can. He said Job Link centers are a good place to start looking for work.