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Region pulls together to help Bristol Compressors employees

Matthew Lane • Aug 2, 2018 at 11:12 AM

KINGSPORT — The region is coming together to help the 470 employees who work at Bristol Compressors.

The company told employees on Tuesday it would be closing its facility later this year. This means that 470 employees will soon be out of work.

As soon as news of the pending shutdown of the 43-year-old company spread, Beth Rhinehart, president and CEO of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, said her office immediately received calls from businesses across the region offering support for those employees.

The chamber then began organizing and reaching out to other regional partners to come up with something to do. And that something will be a job fair.

“We were all saddened to hear the news about Bristol Compressors and to think about the impact on our friends and neighbors,” Rhinehart said. “One of the great things about this region is the way people pull together during challenging times.”

The job fair will be held on Aug. 28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Bristol Conference Center (3005 Linden Drive, Bristol, Va.). Partnering in the job fair will be the Chambers of Commerce in Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City and Washington County, Va., NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, NetRep and the regional business community.

Miles Burdine, president and CEO of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, said he’s hopeful other manufacturers in our region will have jobs readily available for the affected employees.

“I’m disappointed that it happened and my heart goes out to those who are employed there,” Burdine said. “Unfortunately, it’s not just the 470 employees that are affected. Because of what a manufacturing job means to a community, it affects other jobs as well.”

With the short notice of the impending closure, some details about the event are continuing to develop, with more information unfolding daily. For more information or to sign up to participate in the job fair as an employer, contact Amy Shuttle, senior vice president at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, at (423) 989-4850 or [email protected]

Bristol Compressors, which has been in business for 43 years, produces compressors for air conditioning units, heat pumps, geothermal units and refrigeration units.

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