DUNCAN, Okla. – Oil Giant Halliburton announced that they are moving employees around and that shifting will have an impact on the city of Duncan.
Around 150 employees at the company's technology center are leaving the Duncan plant and going to Houston. Right now, the tech center has 400 employees. Over the next two years, that number will dwindle down to just over 250.
The Head of Economic Development in Duncan, Lyle Roggow, says a move like this will be a huge loss. The workers who are leaving are chemists and engineers who make good salaries. Their exit will hurt the city's bottom line.
The Duncan Plant is not as it once was. Beginning in the 1920s, it was Halliburton Company Headquarters, but today the company is global and workers are slowly moving out. Roggow says the timing of this move could not have come at a worse time.
"We've been kind of going through the last 12 months kind of a slow down in our economy. We've been really starting to see in our city sales tax collections," said Roggow.
While the city revenue goes down, the number of houses on the market goes up.
"That means you'll have more houses up for sale. You know, which starts to flood a market just a little bit," said Roggow.
Barbara Shackleford has lived in Duncan ten years and has seen it happen in the past.
"Some of the houses sit empty for like 2 years before they were bought by someone," said Shackleford.
However, there is a bright side. Roggow says that often the employees do not want to move.
"Most of them don't like to go into big cities," said Shackleford.
That is why his office has been tracking down other companies that might need their skills.
"It may give those folks the opportunity if they want to stay in the area if we can find a good match for them, it will be something that is positive for both. Quality of life changes," said Roggow.
Roggow says the move will centralize all the company's chemists and engineers. The new facility will be state-of-the art, but actually will not be any bigger.