Armor Express, founded in Central Lake in 2005, manufactures bulletproof materials for the police and military.
They are now moving their manufacturing operations to North Carolina, leaving many Central Lake workers jobless.
Armor Express was unable to say how many employees were laid off from their Central Lake facility, but townspeople say many of them are older women.
Some employees made their way to Central Lake Tavern on Wednesday evening after their last day on the job.
“The feeling I get in town is that no one even knew this was going to happen,” said Monica Ingersoll, owner of Central Lake Tavern. “They were caught off guard. “
While Armor Express has provided severance packages to employees and offered to help them find other work, it hasn’t left their former employees comfortable.
“They were still in a good mood but the mood was just muddled,” Ingersoll said. “They didn’t know what they were going to do. They didn’t know where they were going to go, what to do next.
Central Lake is not a big village and that means there aren’t a lot of job opportunities in the area. It may take until spring or summer before they can find other work.
“It’s so slow right now that I don’t need anyone until spring,” says Ingersoll. “A lot of places around here are like that. In summer and spring this is when people start to come back to their vacation homes and until then there is nothing.
While they move manufacturing to North Carolina, Armor Express will maintain its presence in Central Lake, continuing to operate its research and development facilities.