THOMASVILLE — A Thomasville company that notified some workers last week that their jobs were eliminated will lay off the remaining workers today, the Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday.

In addition to laying off 87 workers, Thomasville Home Furnishings Inc. will close, the Labor Department said in a news release.

Employees told the Thomasville Times-Enterprise Wednesday that production workers were notified near the end of the day on Oct. 19 that they would no longer have jobs and that the plant would close.

“A company spokesman has confirmed to the Labor Department that 68 employees were laid off last Friday and the remaining 19 will be laid off tomorrow,” the news release said.

David Moore, one of the employees who will be out of work today, said Thursday that the company tried to stay afloat and had recently signed a contract with department store chain Dillard’s.

“There was hope,” said Moore, who was with the company for 13 years and worked in computers. “We were trying. They were trying to do the best thing.”

Moore said the home-grown company’s logo bore the Thomasville name and was a source of pride, but that ultimately it couldn’t compete with lower-cost goods from China and other countries.

“With the prices going lower, lower, lower, it was hard to compete,” he said.

An employee at Thomasville Home Furnishings who answered the phone Thursday said that company owner Kenneth Lowery was preparing a news release. She said that the release would be available late this week or early next week.

The Labor Department will meet with employees at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Thomasville Career Center, 403 N. Broad St., to discuss unemployment benefits.

Representatives from the Georgia Department of Adult and Technical Education and other agencies also will attend to provide information on available services including seeking employment, employee information sessions, retraining options, resources at the department’s labor centers, worker surveys, special workshops on career options and resume writing and interviewing skills.

Some job seekers may also be eligible for occupational/skills training, on-the-job training, General Education Development (GED) preparation and testing, and supportive services such as child-care assistance, transportation assistance and meals while enrolled in full-time training.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said that the Department of Labor will provide assistance to employees who lose their jobs.

"The closure of Thomasville Home Furnishings is creating a difficult situation for the workers and the community, and I want the workers and their families to know they're not alone in dealing with this situation,” he said in the news release. “Our staff will work closely with the employees, company officials, as well as Southwest Georgia Technical College and our Workforce Investment Board partners, and local business and political leaders to determine how we can best assist the employees affected by the plant closure.”

Reporter Alan Mauldin can be reached by calling (229) 226-2400, ext. 226.

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