EL CENTRO – The board solemnly listened to economist Michael Bracken of Development Management Group report on the effects of the National Beef plant closing and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) El Centro Service Processing Center probable closing.
The ICE facility alone will deal a $69.31 million dollar loss based on spending on labor, material purchases from the local community, and health care purchased for the inmates locally.
Bracken added that the ICE facility is responsible for about 592 total jobs, directly and indirectly.
Wages at ICE are some of the higher paid positions offered in the valley, further corroding the upper middle class in the county, according to the report. The average employee, including all salaries, was $75,830 a year. The facility has 428 total employees, counting both full time and part time.
“These are some of the best jobs in the Imperial Valley, they are the path to the middle class,” Bracken said.
Between the two facilities closing, Bracken told the board that there will be a 9-10% hit on the economy. “This is horrible.” Bracken said.
“You, as a board, must do everything you possibly can to help ICE understand that one, this facility is needed, especially in geographically isolated regions.” Bracken added.