OSCEOLA, ARK. — American Greetings will lay off 268 employees from its Osceola facility.
No information has been provided on why the company is laying off the employees.
An email from an American Greetings Corporation spokesperson states the following:
"On Monday February 17 approximately 268 associates at American Greetings Corporation plant in Osceola, Arkansas were notified of an upcoming layoff. It is expected that these layoffs will begin in late April and end in late June.
"Certain classes of associates are eligible for severance benefits if their jobs are affected and we cannot place them in similar positions. Other associates will have recall rights, and American Greetings will work in conjunction with the applicable state and local agencies to assist affected associates as needed."
Ann Moore is a volunteer at the Mississippi County Historical Center in Osecola. She says American Greetings role in the community cannot be understated.
"Oh, through the years it's been the primary employer in Osceola. It's provided employment for countless hundreds of people here in Osceola at all levels...from the management, all the way down to the janitorial staff," Moore said.
Uniqua Range used to work at American Greetings and knows some of the employees affected.
" Some people probably have backup plans," Range said. "Hopefully they have a back up plan."
The layoffs — affecting positions like distribution, production and general factory workers, among others — will have a noticeable impact on the local economy.
"It impacts our business because we finance our own furniture and we do it on terms," said Jeanne Bowman, manager at Hubbard and Hoke Furniture. "When they don't have a job, they can't pay us, so it hurts us also."