General Motors employees at the fuel cell facility in Honeoye
Falls have a tough decision to make: move to Michigan or find a new
220 employees were told at 9 am on Friday that most of their jobs are moving to Pontiac, Michigan by the first quarter of 2013.
The decision came as a shock to not only employees but village officials.
Village Mayor Richard Milne says the plant is one of the largest employers in the village.
The jobs are high-skilled, high-paying positions.
Many employees told News 8 they were unable to speak.
One worker who didn't want to be names said he came here from
Colorado 12 years ago.
"I haven't decided yet, I am talking to my wife to see what the next steps are," said one employee.
GM says a majority of the 220 Honeoye Falls employees can relocate to Michigan.
Others can apply for work elsewhere at General Motors.
"Did we think that Honeoye Falls was going to grow and they were going to build these vehicles here in the future? We've know for years that they would like, we believe they would like to have this facility in the Detroit area, in the Michigan area," said Mayor Richard Milne "But we thought we would have had a couple years to plan."
The company says this was the time to make the move.
We did contact local, state and federal officials on the business decision we made. Certainly it was difficult because this community has been very supportive of our efforts," said Kim Carpenter, GM Spokesperson.
GM says moving will help business closer to its major operations in Michigan.
But that gain is a local loss.
"It's obviously a large blow to local economy but it's not so much tax base, it's really the 250 or so employees that walk in our village streets day in and day out," said Milne.
K&H Precision Products is across the street. It helped with some of the first prototypes for GM. It hopes for something even better to follow.
"I'm sure it's a disappointment to the village tax saw and everything else. We will just have to see what happens from there, they have a beautiful facility and hopefully someone else will take advantage of it," said Steven Hogarth, President K&H Precision Products.
GM does not own the buildings in Honeoye Falls. The company says its lease is almost up.
While the total relocation won't happen until 2013, some employees may start to move immediately.