Local News

Kelly-Springfield Layoffs Latest Blow To Fayetteville Economy

Posted October 11, 2001 10:02 a.m. EDT

— The Kelly-Springfield Tire Company was one of the largest employers in Cumberland County. Now, hundreds of workers are getting pink slips.

There have been other recent layoffs in the county and the deployment of soldiers from Fort Bragg. With so many people spending less or not spending at all, the local economy could be left reeling.

Thousands of people living in Fayetteville have learned that Kelly-Springfield will cut 475 jobs. It is just the latest in a round of layoffs in Fayetteville, and some people wonder when the trend will end.

"When our largest employer lays off, that's not a good sign. We're every concerned," says Dr. Franklin Clark of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. "When car sales go down, you don't sell as many tires. We have to be the number one tire manufacturer, so we're getting the consequences of a downturning national economy."

Neighboring businesses fear that they will suffer the same fate.

Patricia Hall owns a video and dry cleaning business that is located less than a mile from the tire company. Since last month, she says that she has seen a 25 percent reduction in business and is prepared for things to get worse.

"People are afraid of spending money. They don't know what's going to happen from one minute to the next," says Hall.

Last month, Telespectrum Worldwide and Monsanto announced layoffs in Fayetteville.

Some local workers fear there may be more to come.