Employees Reflect on Losing Their Job One Year Ago Saturday

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

"It was a very close knit family, and it was rough. It was very depressing," Dennis Bell says.

Former AG Communication Systems employee Dennis Bell will always remember April 30 as the day his company died.

"We depended on each other, morally off and on the job, and it was very rough. It was like half of our family was taken away," Bell said.

AG's name is now stripped away on the plant's exterior. Electronic manufacturer Connor Winfield purchased the building effective January 1 of this year, but it's unclear when or if new business and jobs will start up inside.

Meanwhile, the loss of jobs on Eureka Street has trickled down to a loss of business on Main Street.

"When you lose big job opportunities in a small community, in the community, it affects everyone," Margaret Travis said.

"Genoa lost a lot of revenue from AG closing, and there's a lot of people that weren't old enough to retire," Barbara Lawson said.

Fifty-year-old Bell is one of those employees. While long-term disability keeps his family financially afloat, Bell estimates 30 to 40 percent of his AG co-workers still haven't found work. Despite that, Bell says the plant's closing opened up Genoa's community spirit and compassion.

"The reason why I stay here is it's a small town with a big town heart," Bell said.

It’s a town that lost a big chunk of its manufacturing heart one year ago.


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