Oct 5, 2010 7:51 PM by Melissa Hawkes
After almost 40 years... he Fruit of the Loom Distribution Center in Jeanerette is closing due to consolidation. During its peak employment years, the distribution center provided jobs for 2,000 people in Acadiana.
A former Fruit of the Loom employee, Diana Colbert, said "it was fantastic in the 80s because the work was there. You needed two incomes in the family-- as you need now--and the money was good."
Colbert worked for the distribution center for ten years. She was part of a large layoff at Fruit of the Loom in 1998. She said hearing it's shutting down for good is quite upsetting.
She said, "it's a sad occasion right now for the city of Jeanerette."
Mayor Arthur Verret says he had no advance notice that the company was closing it's doors.
He said he was "very much surprised, a little in shock because it's such a large employeer."
Fruit of the Loom is expected to be moved out by the end of December. The mayor is hopeful that the empty 500, 000 square foot building will attract a new business to Jeanerette.
Verret said, "I'm sad to see them leave our community, but I see this as an opportunity. An opportunity to move another industry to replace the jobs that are lost or maybe even bring more jobs."