HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Employees of a Hazleton-based company that closed its door on Friday, say they were caught totally off guard and are now scrambling to figure out what to do next.
150 people are out of work and as many as 1,000 more across the nation.
Employees tell Eyewitness News they never saw this coming and they say they still can’t believe it.
Patricia Smith owns Pat’s on the Heights Restaurant in Hazleton. Many employees of DBi Services often ate at her place. She says the closing will have a wide-ranging impact.
“I was totally shocked I was totally shocked. It should never happen in a city like this. All those people are without a job,” said Smith. “So everybody loses when something like this happens. The city takes a hit… taxes, everything, everything is going down.”
DBi Services specializes in infrastructure services and maintenance. They work on projects like highways and bridges for communities and private businesses around the nation.
“Well, it’s a terrible tragedy… Blow for the whole area,” said Jack Mundie, Hazleton councilman.
Mundie says the city will lose tax revenues as a result of the closure.
“Our next step as a city is to analyze how much this hurts the city finances… Going to be a big blow and find a way we could try to get them to reopen,” Mundie said.
The Pennsylvania Career link is mobilizing to assist now-former DBi employees.
“If you are a DBi displaced worker we encourage you to reach out to us because the lay off happened before we were able to gather good employees “E” list. We don’t have. List something when a company closes.” said Christine Jensen, PA Careerlink director.
DBi Services released a statement on their website Monday citing several factors that contributed to the closing including the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as financial issues facing the company.
DBi Services today confirmed that due to continued operating and financial challenges, and sudden and unexpected setbacks, particularly the decision of its primary lender to discontinue all funding, the Company determined that a wind down of substantially all of its business is necessary at this time. Macroeconomic forces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain disruptions, higher material costs and the labor shortage, coupled with increased financial requirements from sureties and lenders, impeded the Company’s ability to successfully execute and finance its projects. The Company explored every viable alternative to avoid this outcome, working together with its outside advisors, investors, lenders and sureties to try to identify a resolution to address the issues at hand and enable the Company to move forward. The Company’s Digital Traffic Systems, Inc. subsidiary, which has not experienced the same challenges, is continuing to operate and serve customers. DBi Services deeply regrets the impact on its valued employees, customers, suppliers and partners, and is working diligently to manage as smooth a transition as possible.Dbi Services
We spoke with several former employees who did not want to appear on camera. They say they are trying to determine their next move for work.