With the economy taking some pretty hard hits lately, many are wondering what to do next. That is especially true for the 270 employees of US marine in Navassa, who just found out they are being laid off. Thursday night, Michael Matthews found out he was going to be laid off. "I looked at the economy and everything and I just knew something was going to happen I just didn't know when and was hoping it didn't happen,” said Matthews. “I'm a husband and all my kids are grown, that's a good thing financial wise, but outside of that we've still got bills to pay and everything to take care of." The plant will be closing by the end of the year, but could re-open when the boat business improves. In the mean time, Brunswick County Employment Security Commission Consultant, Chuck Spangler, said workers can come to the Job Link Center for help in job placement and training. He said other jobs are out there if you are willing to travel to neighboring areas or learn new skills. This is something Matthews is willing to do. "You can't think big minded you've got to think a little smaller now because the money's not going to be steady, but you've got to go out there and find something else,” Matthews said. Spangler said almost 7 percent of the Brunswick County workforce is unemployed – that is around 3,300 people without a job. That, combined with the US marine workers will affect the local economy. “This involves trips to the grocery store, trips to retail stores where the families won't have as much to spend as they would under full employment,” added Spangler. Until the market picks up and Matthews finds a new job, he will try to make the best of the situation. "Do a lot of praying and try to do something positive," said Matthews. For more information on getting employment help, call Brunswick County's Employment Security Commission at 910-754-6120.
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