The woes of our nation's economic troubles has struck Macon once again. Eight employees with Ardent were given their check last Thursday with a letter stating at the end of business on Thursday, Sept. 20, their employment is terminated.
The letter states, "This permanent separation from employment is due to economic conditions and sales not meeting forecasted levels."
Tammy Laird, an employee with Ardent Outdoors for one year and seven months, and Troy Ashenfelter, a three-year employee, both feel like the wind was knocked out of their sails.
"I was laid off from Toastmaster and Buse Assembly in Macon," Tammy said. "I was working at Dura Automotive in Moberly when I applied at Ardent, because I heard they were going to have a layoff. Now here I am."
Made in America is becoming a rare item because manufacturing jobs overseas pay much lower salaries and items can be constructed and sold a lot cheaper.
"Ardent Outdoors makes a quality reel," said Troy, who took a voluntary layoff a few weeks before he was called into the plant on Thursday for the meeting. "We all kind of had a feeling it was coming because the orders were getting less."
Employees worked Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and were payed $9 an hour.
"It is going to be hard to find a job that pays that much in the Macon area," Tammy said.
Neither of the employees have hard feelings. They both said Jerry Boling, operations manager at Ardent Outdoors, was great to work for.
"I'm thankful Jerry gave me a chance to work," Tammy said. "I'm hoping I can get back on."
When asked what she would do now, Tammy said, "I've signed up for unemployment, and I will go looking for work. I have already been told by two factories in Moberly that there will not be any hiring until after the election. They are unsure what is going to happen."
Troy said he would be hitting the streets too. "I will work on my hobby of woodworking more. There aren't too many jobs out there for a guy my age."
Troy said that Ardent still has four or five employees still working to fill, label and package lubricants.
A representative with Ardent Outdoors did not return our calls before press time.
Eight years ago, Ardent began manufacturing high-end reels in Macon. They expanded the company about a year ago to package and label lubricants and cleaners for fishing reels.