KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--For the first time Mayor Tim Burchett and Mayor Madeline Rogero are speaking out about the Sea Ray plant closing. Brunswick Boat Group is shuttering the Knoxville plant at the end of the year.
They're both disappointed for the workers and their families and the community. They're hopeful new businesses coming in will make up for the loss. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says, "It's a corporate decision. It's just about dollars. Human people are not taken into effect. It's just corporations looking at their bottom line."
Sea Ray is moving out of Knoxville at the end of the year and shifting some production to Vonore and Florida. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero says, "Very disappointing to Knoxville and our economy, and we're concerned about families impacted with it."
Two hundred and twenty-five full time employees out of work. Mayor Rogero says, "Unfortunately with the market we're in with the cruisers that's still a weak part of our market. We've not recovered enough to where that industry is doing well."
Mayor Tim Burchett wasn't surprised when Sea Ray made its move official, but he was disappointed. Mayor Burchett says, "These are very skilled jobs leaving so it's unfortunate. We've had some great announcements here these past few weeks so we're back to even basically."
He's hoping new companies like BHS Corrugating which broke ground last week can offset the loss.
We reached out to Brunswick to find out how many part-time workers would be affected. They said they don't report part-time numbers. Eligible employees will receive severance and other assistance aimed at helping them transition to other employment.