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Thursday, 10 January 2019 15:39

Closure will leave 227 jobless

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WILTON (WGME) - Local officials are planning next steps after the town learned it will lose its largest employer.

The Barclaycard call center has announced that it is shutting down at the end of March.


Barclaycard officials say 227 people will lose their jobs. And now the town of Wilton is bringing in state labor officials to help.


Barclaycard was voted best place to work in 2013 and town officials say the company invested $5 million into the call center in 2015. But now Barclaycard is shutting it down.


"It definitely was a surprise because we had heard that things were still OK, still good. So it did come as a surprise to us," says Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish.


Irish says it is going to be a challenge to get another large employer in a rural area. 


Until a replacement is found, the town will also lose tax revenue.


"Revenue from that property tax is $8,800 per year -- $8,800," she said.


But that is not all the town is losing.


"They volunteered their time. And Barclays allowed them a couple hours per month to volunteer their time. So they would work downtown with some of the organizations, whether it was planting flowers or helping to clean up," Irish said.


Locals are also worried about the trickle-down effect.


"I know we're going to get less traffic in through town, which might affect the smaller businesses in the area, like the coffee shop and things like that, because there's not going to be as many people coming through on a daily basis," the town manager said.


But town officials are meeting to plan for the fallout.


"That meeting is for the purpose of pulling together the local organizations into a rapid response team that will be headed up by the state Department of Labor," Irish said.