Local officials are still reacting to Wednesday's news that Genova Products has apparently laid off its entire Paducah workforce and are waiting to find out if the move is temporary or permanent.

Both Mayor Brandi Harless and Sandra Wilson, city commissioner and president of the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke to Genova representatives Wednesday.

"They did announce that they laid off all of their employees (Wednesday)," Wilson said.

The mayor added, "They told us it (the layoff) was indefinite and they can tell us more next week."

The Sun was unable to reach any company representatives for comment, either at the Paducah facility in the I-24 Logistics Park or company headquarters in Davison, Michigan. The exact number of workers isn't clear, but believed to be in excess of 100, Wilson said.

According to Harless, the city has been in touch with the West Kentucky Workforce Board regarding assistance available to the laid-off workers.

"The good news is I've heard they are going to be able to get unemployment, so they'll have some income," the mayor said.

If the layoffs are permanent, workers will have assistance available through the workforce board and its rapid response team for job placement and other resources.

"We're prepared to do what we need to do," Harless said. "We do have job openings, which is good, and we will work to place them in those jobs for sure."

Bruce Wilcox, president/CEO of Greater Paducah Economic Development, said the announcement does come as a surprise.

"I'm hopeful that it's only a bump in the road, but at this point we don't know," he said. "Our hearts and our sympathy go out to all the employees who are impacted, and even the company.

"I know from a management perspective, that's not an easy decision to make ... especially at this time of year with Christmas and all."

Genova came to Paducah in September 2014. The company bills itself one of the world's largest manufacturers of vinyl plumbing, producing whole-house plumbing pipe and fittings.

"We've had a really good relationship with them," said Wilson, who was involved when the company first came to Paducah to look at the site.

"We're really sad and disappointed to hear this, but we'll continue to be hopeful that this will change. At this point, we're going to try to continue to be positive and hope to hear something new from them."

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