WILTON — The town’s largest employer will shut down March 31, leaving 227 employees without a job.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish confirmed Tuesday that Barclaycard is closing the Wilton call center, saying town officials were notified of the decision earlier in the afternoon.

She said the Wilton board of selectpersons has scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday at 6 p.m. to discuss the closure and make arrangements on providing services to those who were laid off.

Barclaycard US, operated by the UK-based Barclays bank, is a credit card and payment services provider, and is one of Franklin County’s largest employers.

Irish said she was surprised by the news Tuesday.

“It’s very unfortunate; they’ve been a good employer in the town,” she said.

In a statement Tuesday, the Wilton board of selectpersons said it was “saddened to hear the news” of the closing, “our first concern is with the 227 employees of Barclays who will no longer be employed, and the Wilton board of selectpersons will work with outside agencies to provide the necessary services to the employees.”

The statement continued, “Barclays is one of the largest employers of Franklin County, so the impact will be felt through the County and the greater region.”

Shortly after the announcement, Gov. Janet Mills’ office issued a news release stating the Department of Labor will “use all available resources to support the employees, their families, and the Wilton community.”

“This is deeply disappointing news that will have a profound impact on the community, the employees and their families,” Mills said. “We will marshal the resources of the Department of Labor and other government agencies to support the employees, their families, and the community, beginning by deploying a rapid response team to meet with the employees to provide reemployment services and help evaluate their health insurance and severance options.”

Judy Pelletier, a spokeswoman for the Department of Labor’s rapid response team, said Tuesday that she’s reached out to Barclaycard regarding the closure, and will be setting up rapid response sessions for employees.

She said they include needs surveys and finding out where workers are from so the rapid response team “can provide services as close as possible.”

“We’re trying to do whatever we can on site prior to that layoff,” she said.

Barclaycard opened its Wilton call center on Weld Road in 2008 and added hundreds of jobs in its first six years. In 2015, it completed a $5 million expansion, allowing the business to reach nearly 500 workers.

In July, L.L. Bean dropped Barclaycard as the vendor for its branded credit cards, switching to Citybank.

At the time, a company spokesperson said, “There are no changes planned in Wilton at this time. We appreciate L.L.Bean’s partnership for the past nine years and wish them continued success moving forward.”

According to the governor’s news release, as of July the company still employed up to 500 employees at the call center.

“Wilton is a beautiful lakeside community, a great place to live and raise a family, and already has a willing and productive work force,” Mills said. “I am confident other employers will see this change as an opportunity and will power their businesses with the hard workers of Franklin County.”

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