St. Mary

Aug 6, 2013 11:29 PM by Steven Albritton

350 Employees To Be Laid Off At McDermott International, Help Not Far Behind

There's good news for 350 employees in St. Mary Parish who were told they'll soon be out of a job. McDermott International, an engineering and construction company, officially gave word today that they'll be closing up shop in Morgan City. They'll be moving the operation to Mexico because the water needed to manufacture their product is no longer deep enough at the current site. The good news is several company's in Louisiana are stepping up and offering jobs to all the employees.

"It's a somber day to be here, but we're here today to outline options for these workers to show them our commitment to finding new opportunities for them and their families," Governor Bobby Jindal said.

It's not the economic news the governor wanted to deliver, but he along with many who work with him, told press and employees that McDermott was leaving. It was tough news to hear for employees.

"It's a hard time for everybody and everybody has to find another opportunity. They have to another means of making money for their families," truck driver Michael Brown said.

Employees say they weren't surprised by the announcement, but held out hope a deal to stay could get done.

"Now I think it made everybody realize this is reality. Where as before it might of just been, "Oh! Well, maybe it won't happen, maybe something big will come up," Anne Lejeune said.

Today there is hope for the future. Other engineering companies, including Bollinger, Danos and Intermoor, have reached out. They are prepared to offer hundreds of jobs and will be holding an on site job fair.

"It gives us another avenue, another opportunity. Maybe some company that was there today is wanting to hire myself or some other fitters or welders. Basically, we're rejoicing, Brown said.

Even with the job fair, many employees have been employed with McDermott for years. They say it'll be tough leaving a company where many have formed close relationships with their co-workers.

"You make life long friends and we're just like family," Kathy Sculley said

The job fair will be held around employee shifts. The Morgan City fabrication plant will finish its backlogged orders and close for good in the early part of 2014.

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