Pharma Pac laid off about 75 of its employees last month, and that move left many with questions about why it happened and the future of the company.
"Here in Kemper County, Pharma Pac is one of our larger employers, so having a cut in the numbers that they had with almost half of their employment, it's had a great impact on the citizens of the county, as well as the rest of the economy of the county," executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority Craig Hitt says.
Hitt says these layoffs come from a change in management within the company. But the current number of employees is below the number that Pharma Pac initially agreed to in a deal with the state.
In an original agreement, the state gave Pharma Pac $500,000 to buy and renovate its building. But that was under the condition that the company employ 179 people in September of 2014. Now just about 80 remain.
But the Kemper County Economic Development Authority says there will not be any repercussions for not meeting their quota at this time.
"The contacts we've had with the state officials are saying that's not an issue at this point," Hitt says. "They are willing to work with the company. The company has met the obligations that they've asked for in the past. I understand there will be a reassessment of that some time in the future, but as of now, that is not an issue. "
In the meantime, Pharma Pac is working to rebuild itself so that it can re-hire some of the employees are currently laid off.
"The company has got to stabilize itself financially," Hitt says. "Then from that point, they can grow new business, create new customers and then begin to build their company back to a point where these employees that have been laid off can come back to work."