SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – A Springfield construction company notified the state of a merger with a Jefferson City, Mo. company. And the merger will cost jobs in the Ozarks.
Journagan Construction focuses on road construction projects across the state. The company will merge with another road construction company, Jefferson City-based Capital Holdings Group.
The merger eliminates 120 jobs by the end of February. Those jobs include union and non-union jobs, mostly in Springfield, Ozark, Hollister and workers in the field.
According to a letter filed by the company to state officials, nearly 30 union workers classified as “laborers” will be let off. More than 50 operating engineers will also be let go.
The Springfield Contractors Association said there is a light at the end of the tunnel despite the news.
”This time of year is a little bit of the off-season for that type of construction anyway,” Springfield Contractors Association Executive Director Megan Short said. “Journagan, they are more of a civil, heavy highway that type of contractor. And when the weather gets below freezing you can’t lay asphalt in that kind of stuff.”
Short said while the news can certainly be upsetting, it happened at the best time possible.
“For something like this happen, it is worse for a layoff to happen in the middle of the season in a lot of ways because then you are struggling that next job mid-projects,” she said.
The company’s website says many employees have been with them for more than 15 years. Short said the area still has plenty of jobs to offer.
”We have some amazing contractors in this area,” she said. “A lot of the contractors in this area do regional work. So it’s the same type of thing. We have companies that are based out of Springfield. They are based in other areas and have an office here. So there is plenty of opportunity.”
Union representatives declined to comment, but said negotiations are still being made.
Short said union workers should work with their unions to help find new opportunities.
“Talk to their union representative,” she said. “Their union representative a lot of times is going to be able to talk to the other contractors that are union but that doesn’t mean it’s not helpful to go ahead and start talking to to other people as well do you want to make sure you have those connections. If they are in a union, they have a union representative who will help them find out who is hiring also.”
Short said non-union Journagan employees should also reach out, make connections and look for listings. She said the Springfield Contractors Associations is a resource that can help others find jobs.
She said she expects 2021 to be another good year for construction, which means local companies will likely be looking for more employees.
“We need people,” she said. “Across the board in the construction industry, we need people. Our companies need people. There are opportunities for them locally, maybe not right now in the off season, but we want to keep them local because we need good workers.”
KY3 reached out to Journagan and Capital Holdings. Journagan declined to comment and KY3 has not yet heard back from Capital Holdings in Jefferson City.
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