Downturn updates

Many more plant closings than we like to see

February closed with reports of factory shut downs across the country.

  • In Lacey Township, New Jersey, the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant is closing its doors more than one year ahead of schedule, in October. Oyster Creek Generating Station has been active since December 1969, and its 500 workers will be offered other work by Exelon Generation according to president and chief nuclear officer Bryan Hanson.
  • In Texas, Big Brown Power Plant in Fairfield, and a Caterpillar Work Tools facility in Waco are ending operations. Big Brown Power plant employed 200 people, most of which live in the small town of Fairfield, and 20 people will continue to work on the property until the end of next year. For Caterpillar, the move is a part of a continuing reorganization plan that began in 2015, which called for 5,000-10,000 job eliminations this year. The company’s distribution center in Waco is unaffected.

Other closings announced:

  • In Wellsville, N.Y., 250 employees at the Dresser-Rand Corp.’s face losing their jobs in the next two years as its German parent company recently sold part of its business to Curtiss-Wright Corp., and decided to move its focus to North Carolina operations. The acquisition is expected to be complete by April.
  • 190 workers at Pleasants Power Station in Willow Island, West Virginia are affected by the plant’s decision to either sell or close by January 1, 2019. The coal plant employees will receive severance pay if a shutdown does occur.
  • Proctor & Gamble announced it is closing its Kansas City plant and cutting back operations at its Iowa City plant to shift focus to its West Virginia and Cincinnati factories. P&G has closed or sold 12 facilities since 2013.
  • The Benson Power biomass plant in Benson, Minn. is closing with the support of city officials.
  • The end of 2019 will bring the end of the Electrolux plant in St. Cloud, Minn., where more than 900 workers will be left without jobs.
  • Seneca Foods Corp. will be saying goodbye to its Modesta, Calif. factory. Production for the 2018 season never began, and only warehouse operations are still in effect, though they will end soon.
  • Wisconsin is losing two factories as Kimberly-Clark pulls operations from its Neenah and Cold Springs facilities. The company will not comment on plans for its other Wisconsin facilities, including one in nearby Marinette.
  • Another Wisconsin factory loss comes from Saputo Cheese in Fond du Loc, citing the plant’s old age for the closure. Layoffs begin at the end of March.

These closings come in a week that also brought reports of lower unemployment, as well as an optimistic  factory expansion report from the Institute of Supply Management. Stay tuned to this blog for ongoing updates.

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