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Plant may not sit empty for long

MCIDC president believes site will attract another company

May 2, 2008
By Kiernan M. Schalk, Sentinel reporter, kschalk@lewistownsentinel.com
LEWISTOWN — Although the pending closure of the Overhead Door Corp. sectional plant will have an impact on a number of workers, Robert P. Postal, Mifflin County Industrial Development Corp. president, said he believes the site will attract another manufacturing company.

The company plans to close its sectional plant, located in the Mifflin County Industrial Park, by mid-December.

The plan calls for production at the Lewistown facility to be moved to the company’s Williamsport plant. The transition is scheduled to begin in July, and it will affect about 85 active employees at the Lewistown plant, company officials said Thursday afternoon.

However, the closure will not affect the company’s Lewistown rolling steel plant, which employs an additional 320 workers, officials said.

The company is in the process of entering into negotiations with the Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council Carpenters Union 1936 regarding options for the employees who will be affected by the plant closure, said Tom Waite, human resources manager for the Lewistown facilities.

Calls seeking comment from union representatives regarding the planned closure were not immediately returned Friday.

Postal said the closure is a tough hit for the community, especially in light of other manufacturing plants that will be closing.

Word of the plant’s closure comes on the heels of the recent news of a local dairy products manufacturer’s closure planned for October and the final phase-out of Mifflin County’s Case New Holland facility, announced in 2006 and expected to be completed later this year.

Although this would mark the third major manufacturing facility to announce a closure, Postal and other local officials believe Mifflin County will still have a strong manufacturing base for the foreseeable future.

Postal said the MCIDC plaza and the industrial park continue to experience growth.

First Quality, which is constructing a facility in Mifflin County, is among one of the larger companies expanding to the area.

The 985,000-square-foot, diaper-manufacturing facility will sit on a 316-acre site that once was a farmstead situated between Loop Road and the Juniata River. Work on the roads and utilities for the plant is scheduled to be completed by summer, while the plant itself should be built and ready to operate by the end of the year, Postal said.

As for the sectional plant, Postal said, “This is a very marketable site which I think will attract a lot of attention.”

Postal said the plant was built in the 1960s and was one of the first buildings in the industrial park.

“We need to get in there and see what we have to work with here ... we will, of course, be working with (Overhead Door) to flip the building as they get ready to sell it,” Postal said.

Overhead Door Corp., based in Dallas, Texas, is a leading manufacturer of overhead doors and openers for residential, commercial and industrial construction applications.

Overhead Door Corp. is a subsidiary of Sanwa Shutter Corporation, of Tokyo, Japan. Additional information about the company can be found online at www.overheaddoor.com.
 
 

 

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