City hopes FreightCar America layoffs will be temporary

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) We're learning more about the 300 layoffs at the FreightCar America plant in Roanoke. We first reported on the cuts on Wednesday.

In a letter from the company to the city, FreightCar America "Hopes and anticipates the workforce reduction will be a temporary measure for a limited time".


Ivory Spradlin works at The Hole in the Wall Sports Bar and Grille, located across from FreightCar America. For more than a year, she's gotten used to serving several of the employees.

"Then we see them every day and it's like clockwork. We know exactly when they're going to come in. We have what they're going to have before they come in and waiting. They come in with us and we try to cheer them up," said Spradlin.

With the recent announcement of layoffs at the facility. Spradlin says she will see fewer FreightCar employees inside the bar, especially during lunch hours.

"We hope that it doesn't change. We look forward to seeing them every day and knowing that they are going to come in and get to talk about things I look forward to seeing certain ones," said Spradlin.

Roanoke's Director of Economic Development says the city was given notification as required by federal law saying "certain positions will be subject to layoffs in the next several months." The letter also states the layoffs are "due to a reduction of new railcar orders".

Roanoke Director of Economic Development Wayne Bowers said he believes the layoffs are temporary.

"The notice indicates that it could not be as bad as anticipated because if orders come in, some of the employees could be called back," explained Bowers.

Bowers said even though the city is disappointed to lose jobs, the state's rapid response team will be working to help employees find other positions.