DuPont Employees Laid Off at Plant in Belle, W.Va.

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BELLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A major employer in the Kanawha Valley is cutting jobs. A round of layoffs has been announced for the DuPont plant in Belle.

Charlie Mays is suddenly finding himself with more time on his hands. He learned last Monday he was losing his job.

"I was told that I needed to be out by Wednesday," Mays said.

Following in the steps of his father and grandfather, Mays is a third-generation employee of the DuPont plant in Belle.

After 36 years at the plant, he got the news as he was returning from vacation.

"Initially it was a shock," Mays said. "I did not see that coming. I knew that the new company was hurting for cash.

The company he's referring to is Chemours: a spinoff from DuPont.

They will not release the number of people who lost their jobs, but we can tell you that Mays isn't alone.

"I've talked to many of them (former co-workers) to check on them, see how they're doing," Mays said.

Mayor Glen Chestnut says that 18 supervisors were included in the layoffs, and as the leader of a small town, he doesn't like the thought of one person losing their job.

"We're talking about a $2,000 to $3,000 a month paycheck that is not gonna be here spending money," Chestnut said.

As for the reason behind the layoffs, a spokesperson for DuPont released the following statement: "Chemours announced a restructuring plan to reduce and simplify its cost structure. Chemours will eliminate selected roles across its global workforce as a result of this plan."

Meanwhile, Mays remains optimistic.

"This was God's plan. This was God saying, 'This is the push. I'm gonna clear your path,' " Mays said.

Mays says he can now spend more time doing ministry, which is something he already was considering.

He says his big concern is for those who may not have a clear cut plan for the future.

Mayor Chestnut says this is the first big layoff he's heard of at DuPont since he took office. He's currently in his fifth year as mayor.

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