As manufacturing continues to surge in many areas of the nation, one rural town in northeast Oklahoma has received devastating news – the Tyson Foods plant in the area is closing, leaving hundreds of workers without a job and their community without an important economic driver. This unexpected closure has left individuals and the town concerned about their future, but a group of civic leaders is working to come up with alternative solutions for the area.
The Tyson Foods facility, located in the small town of Stilwell, Oklahoma, has been a major provider of employment for the town since its opening in 2000. Not only did this facility employ hundreds of local citizens, but it also served as an economic engine for the town, providing income for casual laborers and other businesses in the community.
The facility’s closure will hit the town particularly hard, as it created jobs for 18% of the town’s population. The facility’s closure is expected to cost the town over $2 million in annual wages, which will have a devastating impact on the town’s economy.
Local civic leaders have scrambled to come up with possible solutions to keep the town afloat. Several ideas have been brought to the table, including retraining existing workers, recruiting new industries to the town, and using grants to start up new businesses. Additionally, local businesses have organized to offer job placement services and to come up with new alternatives, such as converting some of the facilities for other uses.
Although the Tyson closure has had a significant impact on the town of Stilwell, Oklahoma, the town’s civic leaders are determined to come up with new, creative solutions to support the town and its people. As other manufacturing facilities around the country enjoy booming business, the town of Stilwell braces for the Tyson plant closure and looks to the future.