Collins & Aikman Continues Layoffs; 545 Will Be Unemployed

Automotive supplier filed for bankruptcy in May 2005; will complete layoffs by Aug. 31

Collins & Aikman continues to lay off employees as the financially troubled automotive supplier approaches a shutdown in Roxboro, N.C., at the end of the summer.

More than 120 were sent home earlier this month, leaving approximately 400 still reporting to work, corporate spokesman David Youngman told The Herald-Sun.

"Of course we are hopeful" that the displaced are going to find jobs elsewhere, Youngman said. "We continue to monitor our employment needs based on the workload."

Collins & Aikman, based in Troy, Mich., announced in April 6 its of intentions to close plants along U.S. 501 and Halifax Road and eventually put 545 people out of work.

Though Collins & Aikman filed for bankruptcy in May 2005 and the payroll at the Roxboro facilities has been dwindling the past several months, the corporation has remained a presence since 1927.

In addition to the Roxboro operations, the corporation is pulling out of the town of Farmville, located near Greenville in the eastern part of the state.

Gov. Mile Easley responded to the news by activating the Rapid Response Team, a squad from the N.C. Department of Commerce specializing in job search and placement assistance, career counseling, labor market information and an assessment of skills and needs.

Collins & Aikman's downsizing is part of the corporation's efforts to get out of the fabrics business and exit bankruptcy proceedings. Youngman has said the last rounds of cutbacks was scheduled to start this month and expected to be completed by about Aug. 31.