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NAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — Hours before the company’s president and CEO made the official announcement that DAK Americas will close its Navassa plant in September, DAK workers learned of the closing.

Workers we spoke with say they are upset, but not angry. They say they saw this coming, and today in meetings they learned the true fate of their jobs.

“Well, it’s a little bit numbing,” Sonny Wells said. “Most people have pretty much accepted it, because, you know, they saw it coming.”

Wells was a chemical technician at the plant for 41 years. He says he has mixed emotions about the closure.

“My chapter was about to close anyway,” he said. “I’m more concerned with the younger people here. They’ve got to find something.”

He says he was already planning to retire, so it’s not as big a deal to him as it might be to other, younger workers who have not been there as long as he has.

One of those is Sissy Griffin. She worked in housekeeping at the DAK plant.

“I know I have to find another job, so that’s about it,” she said.

She says she has accepted her fate, but is concerned for other workers.

“This is people’s lives. They’ve got to have their money. They’ve got kids. They’ve got families,” Griffin said.

Wells says the company told workers it will help them build their resumes, search for new jobs and possibly even help with further education. With the end now firmly in sight, he took a moment to reflect on his 41 years at DAK.

“Lot of ups and downs,” he said. “It’s been a lifestyle.”

Wells says he plans to retire now that he no longer has a job. He says he might go into business for himself.

As for griffin, she is now in the market for a new job.

Comment on this Story

  • GRR

    Ms. Clara, don’t you think that this guy has been at the facility for 41 years regardless of the name that’s on the wall? What difference does t make what he called the place? If its DuPont or DAK there are still about 600 people in our area that is loosing their livelihood. This is a sad fact and nothing to make light of as you did in your comment.

  • fleebailey

    The Brunswick County sheriff should remove Carla’s keyboard from her home and destroy it.

  • Reb

    Dear Carla,
    The internet is your world for information. Dupont in Navassa was built in the late 1960’s and bought by DAK in 2001. Most people kept their jobs who were established with Dupont upon the transition to DAK corporation. Simple math shows that would be over 43 years of establishment. Why would you ridicule Mr Wells or anyone else in this circumstance? Shame on you, keep your comments to yourself unless you can make factual and intelligent statements.

  • Ed

    Carla, maybe you need some education also. Mr. Wells should have noted that when he went to work at this plant site it was Dupont owned. Later on the plant was bought by DAK. Two companies same location. So, it is possible for him to work at this site for 41yrs.

  • grr4747

    Carla, maybe Mr Wells was employed with Dupont and stayed there through all the changes. I don’t understand why people have to get on here and be such smart a@@es. I have relatives that have been there since the 70’s so if they still call it Dupont so be it, everyone knows what they are talking about.

  • carla

    how has this man been @ dak for 41 yrs when dak hasn’t even been there for this longsounds like BS to m DuPont hasn’t been closed for 41 yrs so if the rest of employs can’t count no better than sonny wells I can see the problem so sunny BOY quit stating false info

  • Jason Davidson

    Sweety, please go back to school and learn to write a well thought out comment. No punctuation, poor grammar, and mis-information plague your comment, even though this site provides spell check. Sonny has probably had the same position for 41 years throughout the DuPont-DAK transition. It’s obvious that DAK has not been in my backyard for 41 years, but something sure has.

  • Dear Carla, don’t be an idiot. You know very well what he meant. He has worked at that PLANT 41 years, as many of the few remaining full-timers have. I know someone who started there in 1973 when he was 19 years old when it was DuPont. DAK bought DuPont and kept many of the full timers. Thus, they have been working at that plant for 40-41 years.

    Based on your grammar, perhaps you should choose not to bully others but to work on self improvement skills so YOU can get out there and get yourself a job. See if you can some day be proud to say that you worked at the same place for 41 years. Ha.

  • GuestEmployee

    DAK purchased the plant from duPont around ten years ago. Maybe more, but some of the employees that worked for duPont didnt retire, they hired on with DAK. There are many employees that have been there over forty years.
    You know why? Dedication and integrity. They didn’t quit because it was hard. They didn’t get fired for being a poor excuse for an employee. They pressed on even when times looked bleak. They represent what America used to be. Not wandering around unemployed, looking for a handout.

  • Vog46

    Thanks. If your anecdotal evidence is right that’s another nail in the coffin for this area.

    Considering the house owned by employees and the dollars spent locally this means the legislature has to get off the vaginal wand/speed limit/transportation funding/sex trafficking schtick and get some SERIOUS jobs in here.
    This also goes to my point about sales tax revenues.
    McCrory’s budget could be in serious jeopardy of going way out of balance.


  • Ed

    Vog, I have been told by several employees that work at the Invista plant, DMT operations will cease at the end of 2013. The PET (resins) area will continue to operate with a limited staff and that will probably be only for a short time.

  • Vog46

    I must have forgotten about Invista do you have a link to that?
    I know that have shut down a line in the past and they laid off 60 employees in 2012.

    One thing that is not mentioned here is that there are industrial maintenance subcontractors involved at DAK and Invista and closures would affect them as well.
    Does anyone know about this?


  • Ed

    This is so sad. The Invista plant is closing also at the end of 2013. Two plants in the same area closing will have a great impact on the job market.


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