Business swoon as shipyard shutdown gets closer
AVONDALE - Darcy Adams can't believe she used to make enough in tips to go shoe-shopping.
Adams, bartender at O'Reilly's in Bridge City, now is among businesspeople in the Avondale shipyard area who've seen their business plummet in the past year. Since previous owner Northrop Grumman announced last July it would close the shipyard by 2013, the yard's 5,000 workers have been laid off or left to await their fate. Fallout for the local businesses that rely on their patronage has been devastating.
Northrop Grumman spun off the yard and other properties to a new company, Huntington Ingalls Industries, earlier this year. Huntington intends to go ahead with the shutdown.
The layoffs have come in waves, with anywhere from 40 to 200 workers being handed pink slips every month or so.