Talking Turkey

Notes and numbers: Business briefs from the past week

It’s about that time. EA rounds up news relevant to our industries—keeping an eye on the job market, the status of manufacturing, and the small business climate.

Midwest malaise. If we were to report strictly on plant closings from the Midwest, we’d need to open up a support hotline to accompany them. This week, it’s food processing taking the hit. Butterball‘s Montgomery, Ill., plant will shut down by July, cutting 600 jobs from suburban Chicago. Not only is this ominous for those in the food and packaging industries; it’s also the second major corporation to leave the Aurora, Illinois area this year (see: Caterpillar). The company says it will help place some affected workers who would be willing to move, as well as maintain its well-known Butterball help hotline, which employs 50 people in Naperville, reported Keith Johnson of CBS Chicago on May 18th…”Don’t make me say this twice”: Carrier announced it is still shipping about 300 of its Indianapolis jobs to Mexico right before Christmas. In a formal notice to the state of Indiana, the company detailed its plans to eliminate 338 jobs at the plant on July 20, four supervisor jobs in October and a final 290 jobs on Dec. 22.

Eye of the Tiger. Stoneville, N.C.-based motor repair service and servo specialist TigerTek will be expanding, this year and beyond. The company announced May 15 it plans to invest more than $530,000 in new machinery following the approval of an incentive agreement by the Rockingham (N.C.) County Board of Commissioners. TigerTek—formerly Oakley Electric—got its start locally in Stoneville in 1983, providing industrial electric motor repair services and expanding to become the largest servo motor repair center in the country, according to Rockingham Now’s Joe Dexter. According to the agreement, the county will appropriate $8,981 in incentives through the general fund, as long as industrial investment and employment performance standards are met. The incentive agreement states that TigerTek must have the new taxable machinery and equipment in place by the end of 2017 and listed for taxation with the county tax department no later than then end of January. It will also add four new full-time employment positions. The company was named by Business North Carolina as the 2008 Small Business of the Year. Its 24,000-square-foot facility includes a machine shop used to fabricate custom precision parts for manufacturing facilities, municipalities, food plants, chemical and plastic plants.

Bankruptcy, the good kind. Auburn Armature, an upstate New York motor repair and sales company, is utilizing a bankruptcy filing law to sell its assets, consolidate debts, and retain employees. The electrical equipment distributor submitted a filing May 19 that said it had agreed to sell all its assets to Power-Flo Technologies, of New Hyde Park, N.Y, the company announced in a news release the same day. Auburn Armature said Power-Flo—a family of companies that includes distributors, fabricators, manufacturers and motor and pump repair firms serving the New York metropolitan and New England areas—has committed to retaining most of Auburn Armature’s 118 employees across its six locations in Upstate New York. Power-Flo’s products range from commodity items such as wiring devices, fittings, and light bulbs to more specialized items such as motors, computerized industrial controls, programmable controllers and custom panels. Filing under Chapter 11 allows Auburn to reorganize and sell its assets free of debts—and retain its 150+ employees at five upstate New York locations. Encouraging to hear about companies with a plan.

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