Plant Closings

Oregon transformer firm on the brink with 110 jobs on the line

As many who follow manufacturing news closely know, plant closings are a regular occurrence. Electrical Apparatus tries our best to keep you posted on all of them. With the hopes that we can make most of these newsletters encouraging, and not depressing, we try to do round-ups that give a summary of recent events in this category. This week’s update begins with a transformer business in Oregon preparing for shutdown.

Pacific Crest Transformers, of White City, Ore., announced September 21 that it will close by mid-November and lay off 110 employees. In the three weeks since then, unions have fought to keep those jobs in the event of a possible sale of the building upon PCT’s departure.

A WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice was filed by company CFO Bruce DeLine on September 21, with a termination date of November 13 for about three-quarters of its staff.

The liquid-filled distribution transformer manufacturer, founded in 1969, reached over 150 employees at one point prior to the late-2000s recession period. The company—which has over 200 customers in all 50 states—was even able to rebound from that time on, with employment returning to historic highs and reported back orders just a couple of years ago. Pacific Crest added a components plant in Monterrey, Mexico in 2016, the Mail-Tribune reported.

But a thread of hope remains, by way of union-supported efforts to find a buyer that would be able to keep some or all of the jobs. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers business manager Banjo Reed noted Wednesday that 71 of the 110 employees are in the union and “prepared whether a buyer is found or layoffs occur.”

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