AMITE- For the past few weeks, Martha Foulks has noticed a significant slowdown in the traffic that passes between her family's A/C business and the Bradken steel foundry across the street.
She says it followed word that the facility was suspending operations and laying off 65 workers, including her brother.
"His son is getting married and of course that makes it hard on him knowing that he doesn't know what his future's holding right now," she said.
The same concern extends to the future of the Town of Amite and Tangipahoa Parish, as Bradken made it a point to patronize local businesses, including Foulks A/C, nearby plumbers and hardware stores.
"It's going to affect our jobs here," said Foulks, "You know, they're going to lunch here, restaurants here, gas stations, fuel economy here, the different things that they buy."
The company says the temporary move is due to a worldwide downturn in the steel market and is one of many tough decisions the international company has had to make to adjust to that drop in business. Parish leaders say the company hopes to ramp up production again after the start of the year.
Those leaders say this situation could have been a lot worse had it not been for the positive way the company responded.
"They did this right, came in, notified early to make sure their folks could go find jobs elsewhere and the state, Louisiana Workforce, is really doing a good job in their part to help them find those jobs," said Parish President Robby Miller.
It's why the Foulks say Bradken has always been a good corporate neighbor.
"I think that it shows a good thing because they really are trying to keep everyone that they can, that they want to keep good employees and that they're hoping for the best and wanting the best for everyone," she said.
And so far, with almost half of the workforce in new local jobs, it seems that effort is paying off.
The company will be doing the layoffs in phases, starting at the end of October.