Red River Army Depot is expected to reduce its workforce by 600 jobs beginning in May because of decreasing workload requirements, according to a press release.
The press release, posted Thursday on Facebook, cites "decreasing workload requirements" as the reason for the reduction "to contractor, temporary and term workforce."
As many as 400 employees and up to 200 temporary and term government employees will be eliminated, according to the press release. The reductions are expected to begin in May, and more could be laid off in August, it states.
Community leaders pledge support
About 600 Red River Army Depot workers expected to lose their jobs in the coming months will have local assistance and support, community leaders said late Thursday.
"The depot is the largest employer in Bowie County. Job levels correspond with workload. With a reduction in workload, staffing is affected. Our community will be available to assist both the depot and those affected by this announcement in any way we can," said Texarkana, Texas, Mayor Bob Bruggeman.
"The economic impact of the layoffs is of concern, but our primary concern is the impact on the lives of the many hard-working men and women in our community. They have served the depot and our military well and it is unfortunate that the depot's workload is lower than previous year's requirements," said Dennis L. Lewis of the Texas Military Preparedness Commission.
Texarkana College has a site near Red River that turns out students ready to fill jobs at the depot.
TC President James Henry Russell expressed confidence about TC helping the depot and its workers.
"TC enjoys a wonderful working relationship with RRAD," he said. "We regret the impact this announcement will have. TC stands by to assist with retraining and working with RRAD to provide high-quality workers to ensure the depot remains the highest performing depot in the U.S. Army.
"We feel that the leadership of RRAD is tops in the country, and we stand by to assist any way we can," he said.
"The bottom line is that RRAD's workload is directly related to (Department of Defense) requirements to support our soldiers. The potentially affected depot workers include employees supporting major production, inspection and support areas across the depot," the release states.
The layoffs are based on workload projections and budget submissions, and the "situation is constantly being monitored," the release states.
"A reduction in Army workload requirements forces us to make difficult business decisions," said Col. Jason A. Carrico, depot commander. "It affects the lives of our employees and their families. For those individuals who will be affected, this is not a negative reflection of your performance or your dedicated service to this installation. However, we must consider these actions to properly match our workforce to workload requirements."
RRAD will establish a Transition Support Center with help from the states of Texas and Arkansas, according to the press release, "to educate and assist each employee in understanding their rights and benefits and to take full advantage of all available resources in the community."