News

Layoffs: 34 percent from Rockdale

Possible effect on 50 students in Rockdale ISD
By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor

Nobody should feel anything approaching relief—losing Luminant’s power plant and mine is a painful blow with serious consequences— but only one-third of the Luminant employees who will lose their jobs by January actually live in the Rockdale zip code.

Residence-by-zip-code statistics on the 445 employees of Sandow Units 4 and 5, and Three Oaks Mine, have been received by the City of Rockdale and the Rockdale ISD.

They reveal 152 show residences within Rockdale’s 76567 zip code. That’s 34 percent of that 445 total.

For the power plant the total is 66 out of 147 (45 percent). For the mine it’s 86 out of 298 (29 percent).

The other 293 Luminant workers are spread out over 54 other cities and towns, some as close as Milano and Thorndale and some as far away as Carthage and Sulphur Springs.

It should be made clear these numbers reference only actual employees of Luminant. There are an estimated 100 to 200 sub-contractors also affected by the Oct. 13 announcement that Luminant is closing its power plant and mine.

REQUEST—Officials had requested a list from Luminant during an Oct. 13 meeting with company spokesman Brad Watson.

Dr. Denise Monzingo, Rockdale ISD superintendent, said the RISD—whose state funding is tied to attendance—is currently attempting to gauge impact without information from companies doing contract work.

“Based on a very rough estimation from head counts, there could possibly be 40-50 students affected and maybe 15-20 staff members,” she said.

“However, this does not mean all these will leave,” Dr. Monzingo said. “In fact, some of these have already told us they are making plans to stay.”

SIMILAR—The numbers are remarkably similar to the periodic updates provided the The Reporter by Alcoa during the 50-year plus era when the aluminum company operated a smelter near Rockdale.

Virtually every “head count” in that era showed between 35 and 45-percent of smelter, power plant and other Rockdale Operations facilities employees listed addresses in the 76567 zip code.

Those statistics also revealed employees came to Rockdale Operations from about 50 other areas and towns.

POWER PLANT—The new listings show Rockdale has far and away the largest number of power plant employees with 66.

Lexington has 10, Round Rock and Milano 9 each, Taylor 8, 7 each for Thorndale and Cameron, 6 for Hutto, three each for Pflugerville and Hearne.

Two employees each: Thrall, Caldwell, Bryan, College Station and Gause.

One employee each: Fairfield, Corsicana, Mt. Vernon, Granger, Leander, Austin, Longview, Georgetown and Lott.

MINE—Three Oaks Mine data reflects its location in Bastrop and Lee Counties with Elgin moving into the top five.

Again, Rockdale leads the numbers with 86 employees at the mine.

That’s followed by Lexington and Thorndale with 26 each, Taylor with 23, Elgin 15, 13 each in Cameron and Hutto, Milano 12, Pflugerville 9 and Bastrop 7.

Thrall, Caldwell and Round Rock follow with 6 each, 4 in Temple, Mt. Pleasant and Georgetown 3, 2 each in Bryan, McDade, Granger, Austin, Lincoln, Giddings, Sulphur Springs and Manor.

One mine employee each in Hearne, Bryan, College Station, Gause, Leander, Talco, Carthage, Henderson, Laneville, Cushing, Rusk, Bartlett, Buckholts, Burlington, Harker Heights, Lampasas, Moody, Huntsville, Dime Box, Madisonville, Buda, Cedar Creek, Coupland, Dripping Springs, Paige and La Grange.


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