Dow-DuPont Agriculture plans to cut jobs in Hawaii
MOLOKAI, Hawaii - Dow-DuPont Agriculture plans to cut jobs in Hawaii, 280 local employees got the news Wednesday as the company prepares to consolidate operations.
The two global companies do seed crop research in the islands.
A spokesperson for Dow-DuPont said the consolidation means Mycogen Seeds on Molokai will close for good by spring 2018.
Job cuts are also expected at facilities on Oahu and Kauai, but on Molokai, many in the community are bracing of the impact of losing Mycogen Seeds.
"I have friends who work for this company, family members who work for with this company everyone here is connected in someway, and I just feel for all of them," said Rob Stephenson.
Stephenson is the Executive Director of the Molokai Chamber of Commerce.
"There are some people that work for these companies, some families that may lose their home, they may lose their cars, they may lose the ability to pay for their children's tuition that are going to college," said Stephenson.
A Dow-DuPont spokesperson said in a statement-- "All Research and Development activities in Hawaii for Dow and DuPont (merged 9/1/2017) are being consolidated to Waimea, Kauai."
"Although there are opportunities to relocate it's really not that easy to relocate because here on Molokai families rely upon each other, for things like childcare or help with aging parents," said Stephenson.
Another Research and Development operation in Kunia will shut down by mid-2019, but being a small island, without many other job prospects-- the impact on Molokai is expected to be greater.
"Everywhere that these people spend money on the island is going to be affected," said Stephenson.
Stephenson hopes after Wednesday's announcement, someone will invest in the community.
"This is a great opportunity for others in the community to step up and put this land into cultivation to help our agricultural community recover from the significant event," said Stephenson.
Dow-DuPont will be working with employees to help them find job placements in the next few months.