Footwear factory closing in Morristown

Footwear factory closing in Morristown

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WELLCO, maker of military boots, is closing its plant in Morristown, putting about 53 employees out of work. WELLCO, maker of military boots, is closing its plant in Morristown, putting about 53 employees out of work.
"Basically due to the scale backs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lesser need for military footwear and it's slowed down their business significantly," said Chamber of Commerce President Marshall Ramsey. "Basically due to the scale backs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lesser need for military footwear and it's slowed down their business significantly," said Chamber of Commerce President Marshall Ramsey.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - WELLCO, maker of military boots, is closing its plant in Morristown, putting about 53 employees out of work. 

One of those employees spoke with 6 News off camera and says while the situation is unfortunate, it's life.

Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce told 6 News the company will be shutting down by the end of July.

"Basically due to the scale backs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lesser need for military footwear and it's slowed down their business significantly," said Chamber of Commerce President Marshall Ramsey.

He says there's the hope a new business will swoop in and buy the building and equipment, and hire the current staff.

"It's a little early to say but we have had some inquiries. So I think the outlook for that property is positive. Our hope is that the company can sell it 'turn key' but if they can't we have had inquiries about a building of that size," said Ramsey.

While job loss is disheartening, Ramsey believes Hamblen County is a little more fortunate than some.

"Today I checked Department of Labor numbers, and there are over 1,000 open jobs in Morristown. So we have no doubt that we can place these people or get these people into careers in the community," said Ramsey.

There are between 400 and 600 jobs open in the same development park as WELLCO. The Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce hopes to get WELLCO employees hired soon.

6 News made several attempts to contact WELLCO management for more on the shutdown, but we have yet to hear back from the company.

Previous story: Footwear manufacturer brings more than 100 new jobs to Morristown

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