Big Spring Businesses Closing

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Doors all over Big Spring are closing.

Employers here are having the same problems as other companies all over West Texas.

There's just not enough workers to keep them open.

Why are they folding? Blame the oil boom.

"We couldn't keep people working," Nick Anderson, Assistant Production Manager of Solitaire, said. "It's hard to compete with the oil companies right now."

Solitaire Home Manufacturing is closing its Big Spring plant. Before the oil boom, they had 180 workers, now they have 89, and it's just not enough to keep them going.

"It's really tough on a company like this, because, in this job, it takes time to train them, Anderson said. "You can't just throw somebody in there. By the time they learn how to do something, they're quitting and going to the oil field."

The Star Tek Company, an outsourcing management center in Big Spring is closing its doors too. To give you an idea of their loss, they used to have 450 workers at capacity. Now, they have 120 who are without jobs.

"These two facilities just couldn't reach that critical mass to be profitable and couldn't reach the numbers they needed to reach," Terry Wegman, Executive Director of the Big Spring Economic Development, said.

Star Tek wouldn't comment, but the Big Spring Economic Development office says, there is good news.

"There is ample opportunity for these folks who are laid off," Wegman said. There should be areas they can move into fairly quickly and find new employment. So we're going to be doing everything we can in these areas."

With so many companies hiring, Big Spring plans to hold job fairs to help these displaced workers find employment quickly.

"We're doing everything we can to try to recruit people to the Permian Basin," Wegman said.

We spoke with Big Spring Mayor McEwen earlier, he says, they're disappointed the company will no longer be in Big Spring, but this is just a sign of the times.