MUSKOGEE, Okla. (From news reports) -- Approximately 80 of Georgia-Pacific Muskogee Mill's workers are temporarily being laid off.
G-P is committed to keeping in touch with the laid off workers on a weekly basis, said Jennifer Proctor, public affairs and communications manager.
"We don't have an expected timeline (for their return) right now," Proctor said. "A lot of that is going to be based on demand and market conditions. As you know, COVID-19 is changing the way a lot of people are traveling and interacting in the public."
Nearly 10% of the mill's workers are being laid off. The laid-off workers come from the pro products line which produces supplies for offices, airports, restaurants, hotels and sporting arenas.
Because of COVID-19, the market demand for supplies from the pro product line have dropped, because people are not traveling as frequently to use those services.
"It's unfortunate, but it is kind of the state we are all dealing with," Proctor said. "You would probably be hard pressed to find any industry that's not being impacted in some way. For us, there's been a delay in seeing that."
Businesses across Muskogee have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Some businesses have had to cut costs in order to stay open by furloughing employees. However, there are roughly 120 open industrial jobs available for those who are job hunting.
"While it is bad news for us on that front, there are other businesses that are looking to hire right now in Muskogee," said Mike Miller, Muskogee city manager. "We know there's going to be an impact and we don't want to minimize that, but we know there's other businesses that have growth going on in Muskogee, as well."
Those who are looking for employment in Muskogee can visit muskogeeforward.com for information about job openings. For information on labor or industrial job openings in Muskogee, visit facebook.com/mskmfgjobs.
Miller and Mayor Marlon Coleman have communicated with the Port Authority to find other opportunities for the laid-off workers for potential employment or training. Coleman is looking for the best short-term and future opportunities for the city of Muskogee by recruiting technology industries and other large industries.
"We're not going to stop being relentless in our efforts to recruit other industries to Muskogee," Coleman said. "COVID-19 is a threat, we're going to treat it as a short-term threat and fight against it in every way we can by trying to keep our economy open."