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USGNN Original StoryKawneer Plant Closing to Result in the Loss of 250 Jobs
April 15, 2009

Kawneer Co. Inc., an Alcoa company headquartered in Norcross, Ga., will close its Hernando, Miss., manufacturing facility in June. As a result of the closing 250 employees will lose their jobs.

"The closure of the Hernando plant will be effective June 30, 2009. The consolidation of our operations will ultimately result in a business that is more responsive to market cyclicality and is more capable of servicing our customers," Kevin Lowery, Alcoa's director of corporate affairs, told USGNN.com™. "We are committed to maintaining high levels of service and will do everything possible to make the transition seamless. We will not do anything to impact customer service. We are contacting customers to discuss the transition so there is no disruption in their service."

The facility has an annual payroll of $12 million and has been in Hernando for 41 years--one of the oldest industries in DeSoto County.

"Decreasing demand and increasing competition both inside and outside of Kawneer are the primary contributors for the need to realign production to other plants," said plant manager Derek Wilson. "Our employees have worked very hard at reducing costs, increasing productivity and driving to be competitive in a global market. I sincerely appreciate the hard work that everyone has put forward, which has gotten us this far. However, the current economic downturn has forced us to this position."

Wilson said they will work with state, DeSoto County and Hernando officials to seek ways of helping employees find new opportunities. "As for the facility itself, we will transfer or properly dispose of any major assets and eventually sell the property," Wilson added.

Earlier this year Alcoa announced it would cut 13,500 jobs, or 13 percent, of its workforce, and curb production to reduce costs in the face of the economic downturn (CLICK HERE for related story).

Cuts are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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