Wellmont Wellness Center to Close

The Bristol Family YMCA will take over operation of the Wellmont Wellness Center after three years of discussions between the YMCA and Bristol Regional Medical Center. "This allows the YMCA to build on its vision to improve the overall health and fitness of the Bristol community." (Now they have a monopoly.) Beginning March 3, YMCA personnel will staff and manage the Wellness Center, located at 2000 West State St. in Bristol, Tenn...

To quote the press, "Wellness Center members will have full access to all YMCA facilities and programs, and YMCA members will have the added benefit of being able to use the Wellness Center, Ayers explains. The Wellness Center facility will close for a few days in early March to allow for the managerial transition, and it will reopen to all current Wellness Center and YMCA members March 9... All existing Wellness Center memberships will be honored under the YMCA management structure. Under the management transition plan, the YMCA will lease the Wellness Center from Bristol Regional Medical Center at the rate of $1 per year..." Ref BHC January 23, 2009.

What the press failed to mention: The dirty part about this is the members of the Wellness Center were never told about this even as they kept accepting new memberships up until the announcement. They knew very well many had left the YMCA because it has become a daycare for people to dump their kids. This is an adult center, not a kinder garden. The pools are often over-crowded and the renovations (with more planned) have created chaos. The entire staff will be fired (at the Wellness Center) in addition to over 150 other job losses at Wellmont.

More Job losses for January 2009:

General Shale Brick of Johnson City announced that they will be laying off 75 people. The production line will shut down. They make brick, block, etc. The company website is

King Pharmaceuticals of Bristol, TN will fire 72 more people, reducing its workforce to 430. This was due to loses in court over the expiration of patents for their top-selling drug Skelaxin, a muscle relaxant. Their company website is at

Tri-Cities Labor Market Report East Tennessee State University - Third Quarter 2014

Employment levels still falling since 2009.

Existing labor market trends dominated the Tri-Cities Consolidated Statistical Area (CSA) in the third quarter. Compared to the same period in 2013, regional employment was lower by 1.7% to 218,244, while unemployment fell 10.3% to 16,664 as discouraged job seekers continued to leave the regional labor force. The summer unemployment rate for the metro area was 7.1% (compared to 7.7% a year earlier). With the labor force shrinking by 2.4%, the falling jobless rate is a sign of labor market weakness.

Among the twelve regional NAICS industry sectors, employment levels were higher in six, lower in six, and unchanged in none (compared to six, four, and two in the second quarter). Job growth was led by construction, professional & business services, other services, and education & health services. Smaller employment gains were reported by transport & utilities, and leisure & hospitality. Major job losses occurred in retail trade, government, and manufacturing. Small employment declines were reported by wholesale trade, information services, and financial services. Overall, the private sector in the metro area saw modest job growth.

During the July to September period, employment was lower in all three cities - falling 2.2% in Kingsport, 2.0% in Johnson City, and 1.2% in Bristol. Matching the regional pattern, large numbers of unemployed workers are exiting the labor market in each city. This has lowered the jobless counts, contracted the labor force, and reduced the unemployment rates. The percent of workers unemployed was 7.0% in Kingsport, 7.1% in Johnson City, and 7.1% in Bristol. As in the metro area, the lower rates in each city reflect labor market weakness.