Companies look to hire employees being laid off in Russell Athle - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Companies look to hire employees being laid off in Russell Athletics plant closure


The headline this week in Alex City summed it for the Russell Corporation's Fruit of the Loom plant; 200 gone starting in late July.

But there is a silver lining in the cloud of grim economic news.

It can be found at SL Alabama near downtown Alex City.

Renee Richardson knows all too well what those 200 are thinking right now. Richardson, too, was laid off two years ago from Russell and landed on her feet 6 months later at SL Alabama, a tier one automobile supplier for KIA and Hyundai.

"I know what they're feeling but there are good jobs here, good paying jobs," said Richardson.

Richardson's story is only one part of the equation.

SL Alabama is prepared to offer jobs to at least 100 of the 200 who are about to be laid off at Russell's Fruit of the Loom plant.

"It was a combination of compassion and wanting to keep the economy alive in Alex City and we have openings," said SL Alabama Human Resources Manager Debbie Meeks.

Despite having 800 employees, this auto supplier is slammed. They're working 12-hour days making around 20,000 headlights, taillights and mirrors per day!

SL Alabama is based in South Korea. The company will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year and we're told during those years there hasn't been one round of layoffs.

The supplier plans to hold a jobs fair on July 20th which is a Saturday. The company has not decided where it be held in Alex City.

Interested applicants are encouraged to call the main line at 256-397-8511.

"It's get tiresome sometimes but it's fun," said Richardson as she assembles another headlight for the supplier.

Renee Richardson is well into her second career with SL Alabama after her 23-year stay at Russell came to an end, a light of hope for others in the midst of economic uncertainty.

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