More than 200 people in Truro, N.S., have been handed layoff notices after it was announced that the town’s carpet plant will close this summer.

The plant is owned by the France-based company Tarkett, but operates under the name Tandus Centiva.

Tarkett said it will shut down the manufacturing plant on July 16 and relocate operations to Dalton, Georgia.

“This decision is in no way reflective of the caliber of work done in Truro. It is a business decision related to the sustainability of operations and the future of our company,” said Tarkett in a statement.

“We will do everything we can to provide our employees with the care and support they require at this difficult time.”

Tarkett said 240 employees will be affected by the closure.

“Our initial reaction was shock to be honest,” said Melissa Martell, the local union president. “We were not expecting this in the least.”

For some of the people who were laid off, it's the end of the only work they've ever known.

“I was five when Dad started here,” said Debbie Cock. “So he started in 1967 and retired in 2002, and passed away in 2012. And he would be saddened.”

Cock followed in her father’s footsteps, and has worked at the carpet facility in Truro for 33 years. She says it's a family company.

“I have a spouse that works in there as well, so both of our incomes are going to be lost,” said Martell. “So it's a huge impact.”

Local MLA Lenore Zann spoke with union reps Wednesday about what they need

“I'm not going to sugar coat it, it's definitely going to affect us,” Zann said. “But I am hoping that the government, the provincial government and the company itself are going to help with the transition process and help with retraining.”

Businesses in a small community like Truro could feel these losses too.

Truro Mayor Bob Mills said he was shocked to learn the news Tuesday afternoon.

“We are going to work to the best positive outcome we can, and work hard with the federal government, the province, and other businesspeople to make sure we can lessen the blow,” said Mills.

Mills says the town has requested a meeting with Tarkett to learn about next steps.

But for some employees, they're not sure what their next steps are.

“A lot of people are a couple years away from retirement, and what are they supposed to do?” Martell said. “They've been there for 30, 40 years investing in a company, and now, what are they supposed to go and get trained for a new job?”

While there are many questions about the future there is one concrete detail.

The last day of operations will be July 16.

Previously owned and operated by Crossley Carpets, the mill has been making carpets in Truro since 1964.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.