LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Nearly all of the employees at a soy-based factory were let go Thursday as the plant shut down operations.
Plant Manager Brad Jenkins said 38 people clocked out for the final time at Solae, a DuPont Company. Corporate personnel informed workers in October 2012. Several left in December, but for most of the employees the last day was January 31.
"I'm just feeling a loss. It's almost like you're losing a family member. That's how it feels," Tim Alexander said, who worked at the factory under various owners for 24 years.
The plant has been in operation for nearly 100 years, beginning as a cotton seed factory. "We all more or less grew up together around here," Ronnie Sanders said, who worked at the plant for 39 years.
Drivers along I-65 may recognize Solae as the plant where University of Louisville banners hang on silos. When asked if UofL is interested in purchasing the property, Jenkins said, "It would all be purely speculation at this point. There have been no confirmed or potential buyers."
What is for sure - the bond between the now former employees and an optimistic future.
"It's going to be tough driving out there for the last time," Alexander said. "When God shuts one door, He opens another. We'll be ok. We'll be alright."