This hurts.

Coca-Cola Consolidated announced Wednesday morning that it will be closing its Portland production facility Nov. 1. Employees learned their fate the same day.

The change is part of an ongoing shift for Coca-Cola. The company recently completed a new automated warehouse and distribution facility in Whitestown. It is consolidating those operations at the new site. As a result, there’s expanded capacity for production at its Speedway facility in Indianapolis. The unfortunate outcome for the Portland facility and others — a Coca-Cola facility in Lafayette is slated to close this month — is the loss of a local industry and the dozens of jobs that will go with it.

But our concern today isn’t about Coke, Sprite and Fanta and the profit margins they bring in. It’s about David, Patty, Tim and the many others who are now facing the prospect of needing to find a new job.

Losing jobs is never good for a community.

It means stress for our neighbors and friends as they try to seek new employment.

It also opens the possibility that these neighbors and friends will find new jobs outside of Portland and Jay County and move away from our community. No one wants that.

The good news for these new job-seekers is that they could be eligible for displaced worker benefits by contacting WorkOne and a lot of local companies are currently hiring. But there’s no guarantee that those jobs fit the skill sets of the employees, some of whom have been with Coca-Cola for decades. And there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to find new jobs at the same wage level.

Consolidation is the way of the world. By locating more operations and services in fewer locations, there are economies of scale. It makes financial sense.

We understand that.

And we appreciate the more than 100 years of Coca-Cola’s presence in the community. But that doesn’t make this hurt any less.

Portland Mayor John Boggs on Wednesday said the news of the closure made him feel “gut-punched.” Coca-Cola employees had to be experiencing those same emotions.

Our job now is to rally around them and do what we can to help them find a path forward following this difficult news.

At the very least, if we see them around, we can offer to buy them a drink. Though, at least this week, maybe not a Coke. — R.C.