Spring Hill economy doing well despite COVID-19, new GM layoffs could create change

Coronavirus

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — Last week, General Motors confirmed to News 2 that hundreds of employees would be laid off from their Spring Hill manufacturing plant.

The company confirmed a total of 680 employees were being laid off.

Michael Herron, chairman of Spring Hill’s United Auto Workers Union chapter, confirmed to News 2 that the employees being laid off are part of the company’s “third shift.”

On Tuesday, General Motors LLC, Spring Hill filed an official WARN notice with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, notifying the agency of a permanent layoff effective July 17 with all layoffs completed by July 31.

According to Herron, third shift team members that have the seniority to hold first or second shift will be brought back to work on either July 6 or July 13. There will be approximately 200 coming back on July 6 and another 100 coming back on July 13.

“These are outstanding workers that are very talented car builders,” said Herron, “We pray that this dip in the market due to COVID-19 is a short one and that the economy rebounds strongly.”

“Any loss of jobs has a certain impact,” said Spring Hill City Administrator Victor Lay, “A lot of those citizens are commuting into the city versus living inside the city, so it’s difficult without a report of how many actually live inside the city it’s difficult to say what kind of impact it will hold.”

Lay admits the layoffs will have an impact. Those working that shift likely stopped at the local gas station to buy gas or hit a quick mart for a snack.

“Even if they didn’t live in town they probably added something to our economy,” said Lay.

When it comes to Spring Hill’s economy amid COVID-19, News 2 was surprised Spring Hill’s sales tax revenue is up.

​”Our economy hasn’t suffered as much as we thought it would,” said Lay, adding the city recently received actual sales tax data from March and April and the amount went up from prior months.

Lay said it’s due to demographics, around 80 percent of Spring Hill citizens drive out of the city for work. When COVID-19 hit, those people stayed home, spending their money nearby.

“You could really see it out in the community,” said Lay, “Traffic was down, but the businesses, the Lowes, the Home Depots, they were packed.”

Lay said the news of the layoffs is sad, but remains hopeful the city will continue to thrive.

“We even have some things on the horizon, we think we’ll add jobs so we want Spring Hill to continue to be that potential avenue for them to come and find work,” said Lay.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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