LYNCHBURG, Va (WFXR) — Hundreds of people are losing their jobs after Masterbrand Cabinets announced it’s closing the Lynchburg manufacturing plant. Although these are uncertain times for many people, some experts say there may be a silver lining in the situation.

Tim Saunders from Virginia Career works says luckily, there are options for those losing their jobs.

“Well for the moment, we are in a good place when it comes to employment in our region, there are many job opportunities, hundreds of job opportunities available for people in our area in all sectors of employment,” said Saunders.

Virginia Career Works offers resources to those looking for work and new opportunities. Saunders says he has already received notice that multiple manufacturing companies in the area looking for workers.

“We want them to know that they do not have to leave our area to find another job, there are many manufacturers here locally that want to hire them,” said Saunders.

Masterbrand stated the closing of this facility had to do with efficiency and customer preferences.
However, some experts say this may not be the last time we see something like this occur. Nancy Hubbard is the Dean of the College of Business at University of Lynchburg and she says this could be a sign of things to come.

“I think there’s more of a talk and a realization that we probably will have a slow down of the economy and a recession, the first industries that show light of this are the building industries,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard said there are a series of factors that could have influenced the closing of this facility– including a rise in the cost of living in Lynchburg that could force companies to have to pay higher wages. Although she says the rise in cost of living is not necessarily a bad thing, it could contribute to industries relocating to less costly sites.

“We may be a victim of success in that matter,” said Hubbard.

Regardless, both Hubbard and Saunders agree that for the time being– the pool of opportunity is still abundant. However, Hubbard says it is something that could change.

“You have to take any kind of building industry dynamic like this and examine it to see really if this is the beginning of a significant change in our area,” Hubbard said.

Masterbrand Cabinets says it is doing its part to help those employees get by during this time.
It says it will offer additional compensation, coordination with agencies, and resources from their employee assistance program. They are also offering relocation for hourly associates, but Virginia Career Works says they are there to help, for those looking to stay in the area.