NESQUEHONING, Pa. - Rhonda Burian is the store manager of the Friendly Food Mart in Nesquehoning, right next to KME.
She says many of the employees of the well-known Carbon County business stop by every day to grab something on their way to or after work. And last week, she said they came in and told her the news that the Orlando-based company was shutting their place of employment down for good.
"This is a small town and they were hurt really bad in the closure of many of the coal mines around here, so people in town are very afraid," Burian says.
The company Rev-Group, which makes firetrucks, is based out of Orlando.
Rev-Group took over the family-owned business in 2016 and at the time, the deal was supposed to create hundreds of jobs - but some people in town say, they never believed it.
"We all saw it coming," says Raymond Wilder, adding, "It wasn't a surprise. We knew when they took over, they wasn't gonna stay here."
"This area's always been tough on jobs," says resident Bob Skelton.
KME said it's meeting with employees to talk about options and reassignments, but it will officially close sometime in April 2022.
"It's another one that bites the dust," Skelton says.
Rhonda says she's been trying to encourage her customers, by telling them, she hopes the facility will take a cue from the Lehigh Valley, and become some sort of warehouse - and offer new jobs.
"I've been telling everyone I can think of not to panic, that this is a really good option and there is hope for this town, it doesn't have to shrivel up and die," Burian says.