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Janesville plant closing is 'devastating' for community

Scott Seitz2 • Aug 30, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan said the news of the impending closure of the Janesville Acoustics plant is devastating.

"If there is a positive, it's not closing today or tomorrow," Duncan said.

Duncan said he and local economic officials will do everything they can to keep these jobs local.

"And, we have an action plan as well," he said, adding to help support once they are laid off.

Duncan said he's already working with senators, congressmen, Team Neo, JobsOhio and Gov. John Kasich's office on the situation.

"We have been and will continue to aggressively market our strong workforce," Duncan said. "We are looking for any and all opportunities.

"We have a great workforce here and this is a great location, close to the turnpike and the water," the mayor added.

Duncan said his heart goes out to the workers and their families.

"We'll do everything we can to make sure they have jobs," he said, adding programs are in place at Job and Family Services for displaced workers.

Will workers be able to transfer to other plants across the United States?

"I asked that question this morning and was told they have not made a decision yet," Duncan said.

The plant is in city councilwoman Deb Lucal's first ward.

"I'm surprised, but I'm not surprised," Lucal said. "I think Janesville has been here 50 or 60 years. I know a lot of people who work there.

"I think the Industrial Parkway will be totally empty now, except for two businesses," Lucal said. "I just don't know how to remedy this situation."

Lucal said Janesville was an extremely good company to work for.

"I didn't really see this coming, there was no indication," she said.

"This is very sad," Councilman Stephen Schumm added. "I really feel for the workers and their families. This affects the whole city of Norwalk and the whole Huron County area. It's just a bad situation."

Councilman Chris Mushett echoed the same sentiments.

"These are good factory jobs, which are becoming harder and harder to replace," he said. "This will create a ripple effect for other businesses across the city and area. You hate to see that stuff happen."

"I'm surprised and saddened," Council President Steve Euton said. "These are 300 families that were told they won't have an income. This is bleak for these folks and the community. I feel for them."

"My feelings go out to all who have lost these good-paying jobs," Councilman Bob Carleton said.

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