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Haulmark hauls out

Duncan_Nearly one hundred people in Stephens County will soon be without their jobs.   The company had just opened a trailer production plant in Duncan in 2004 and now, the manufacturing plant will be closing its doors in late September.  This comes at the same time that industrial gas and oil giant Halliburton said it was laying off about one 130 employees around the country.  

Haulmark is a successful trailer manufacturing company with locations throughout the US.  They're probably best known for producing trailers for NASCAR and sponsoring racers Chad Little and Jeremy Mayfield.  Despite the company's past success, the Duncan Haulmark employees got the news yesterday that they would be shutting down.  But, surprisingly, every one of them showed up for work today.  Even though they know they will be losing their jobs in two months, the employees say they know Haulmark is going to take care of them.

Production supervisor John Collins would have been with the company for five years in October.  He said, "I'm just worried about after down the road what will happen - that's my biggest fear." His future seems unsure.  The Duncan branch of Haulmark has over 100 employees. But, because of the slow market in trailers, they have decided to shut it down.

The company, along with the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor, say they are doing everything they can to help.  They're offering severance packages, extended medical coverage and even references for future jobs.  And, potential employers are wondering when the former Haulmark workers will be ready to work. Tracy Cox, the plant's HR and Safety Manager said, "We're doing everything we can. I mean, even if it's not with Haulmark. If I know someone in the Lawton area, or Duncan, or Walters or OKC, I'm going to find someone a job."

With both Halliburton and Haulmark laying off employees, we can't help but wonder if the job market in Duncan is drying up.  President of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation Lyle Roggow says no.  He said, "I don't really see this as a trend."

Despite their fears, former employees are taking it in stride.  And, with all the resources they have, they're all bound to find new jobs in no time.

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