An update on plant closings across the country

Wednesday brought a positive announcement that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history. This is certainly encouraging news for many, to see an ‘onshore’ effort established to foster production and employment. It’s especially needed in a manufacturing climate that sees a mostly opposing narrative each week: plant closings. Here’s an update on some of the recent shutdown announcements.

Parker-Hannifin closing Cincinnati, North Carolina plants. Industrial firm Parker-Hannifin announced a wave of layoffs this week via two of its plant locations, one in a Cincinnati suburb and another in eastern North Carolina. Notices were sent to both states July 21 regarding locations in Washington, N.C., and Blue Ash, Oh., which are expected to force 221 and 62 layoffs, respectively. The Cincinnati area plant is home to a site for Parker’s Gas Separation and Filtration division, while the North Carolina location is a general manufacturing facility working under the Clarcor umbrella, a recent acquisition. Parker, the Cleveland-based manufacturer which recently celebrated its centennial, makes everything from drives and fluid control systems to tube fittings.

General Dynamics: Nashua, N.H. About 90 workers are expected to be laid off at an optics plant in Nashua—New Hampshire’s second largest city with a population of over 87,000. General Dynamics, the aerospace and defense company that operates of the plant in question, attributes the shutdown to a “cost-savings initiative”. The company makes infrared cameras, an item becoming increasingly valued in the industrial repair world for its ability to detect overheating before it happens.

Microsoft closing its SurfaceHub manufacturing plant in Oregon. The often-worshiped technology industry is not immune to plant shutdowns or job loss. Microsoft’s SurfaceHub manufacturing plant in Wilsonville, Oregon is likely to shut down, costing the area 124 jobs, The Oregonian reported July 11. It is not currently clear if the positions will be fully elimated, moved or kept, but early rumors point to the jobs being moved to China. Microsoft has called the decision part of its “consolidation plan” for SurfaceHub, its interactive whiteboard system.

WestRock closing Virginia plant. A packaging company based in Richmond, Va., is shutting down one of its stateside facilities, Newsday reported July 19. WestRock is expected to complete the shutdown of its Wheatley Heights, Va., location by October, with a probable layoff quota of 152 workers. The workload and operations will be shifted to a nearby facility in Deer Park, Va., a company spokeperson told Newsday.

Coal plants: the bad and the worse. A Texas coal plant will be downsizing its operations, losing around 70 jobs, according to The Eagle, a Bryan, Tex., newspaper. Texas Municipal Power Agency’s Gibbons Creek location will switch its operating schedule to primarily summer months only, the article reports, when air conditioning demands heighten output. The plant will now work on a June to September production calendar for the foreseeable future, with 20 employees staying year-round for maintenance and upkeep. Meanwhile, in a widely reported story, the Navajo coal plant will stay open til 2019…then close. This major power source supplies electricity for parts of Arizona, California, and Nevada. The decision to continue operations for two more years initially saves $30 million and 700 jobs, until 2019, when those jobs will be in question and the community, which includes Navajo Nation, is expected to face difficulties.



  1. Kanawha Electric Closes | Electrical Apparatus Magazine - August 3, 2017

    […] a subscriber of ours) EA couldn’t help but notice how those aforementioned factors overshadow a trend that we see constantly happening over the past decade. A trend that is so common in the monthly news for the industry we cover that […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: