GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - 146 direct employees and 45 contract employees will lose their jobs when Future Pipe in Gulfport closes in December. Workers have been promised jobs until Christmas.
Regional President of Future Pipe Industries Michael Olivier says adequate staffing is a problem facing several industrial companies in South Mississippi.
"Everybody knows there's a problem, and we have to find a solution," Olivier said.
The international company opened its Gulfport plant in Harrison County's industrial park in the spring of 2006. Future pipe planned on opening several months earlier, but Hurricane Katrina delayed those plans.
Now Katrina is being blamed in large part for the company's decision to close the Gulfport location.
Olivier calls the closure a "workforce issue."
"Since the storm, our workforce reliability (in South Mississippi) is not what it has been in the past," Olivier said.
The company plans to concentrate on its operations in Houston. An operation Future Pipe says is commercially successful in the U-S Market.
Michael Olivier helped lure Future Pipe to the coast when he worked as Executive Director of Harrison County's Development commission.