Oakdale plant's layoffs hit community hard

by Brandon Richards

OAKDALE, LA (KPLC) - All around the community of Oakdale, everyone is talking about the massive layoffs Boise Cascade announced last week.

The plywood/veneer manufacturing company will lay off 130 workers at the Oakdale plant on December 1st.

The reason? Simple supply and demand.

The layoffs were a topic of conversation at two local salons.

"It's going to hurt our business here as a shop," salon shop owner Mackie Dickens said. "People are still going to get haircuts, but it's still going to hurt us. It's going to cut back on a lot."

Oakdale resident Lanette Lejeune said the problem is really bigger than 130 workers being laid off.

"It's not just the 130 people that they're laying off. It's the 130 families it's going to affect," Lejeune said.

Jade Leggett is a former employee of Boise Cascade. Leggett and her husband were laid off during the last round of layoffs back in February. She now works at a doctor's office. Although she was able to find work, Leggett worries about the future of her former colleagues.

"I think financially it's going to be horrible for some of the workers there," Leggett said. "Some have been there for 20 to 30 years. They don't have any education. There [are] not really any jobs around Oakdale that pay well enough like Boise did."

Boise Cascade said they plan on keeping a small number of works after they reduce operations in early December. The company hopes the economy turns around soon, so it can rehire as many laid off workers as it can.

The Oakdale plant opened in 1965.

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