About 300 people to lose their jobs

UPDATED with full story: Janesville to close Norwalk facility
Scott Seitz2
Aug 29, 2013


The Janesville Acoustics facility will close its doors in Norwalk.

Corporate officials were at Plant 60 on Wednesday morning and announced the company will begin phasing out workers through the end of 2014.

The plant presently employs about 296 people, including hourly and salaried.

(NOTE - Local officials and residents lament the loss of Janesville in a pair of stories published exclusively in Thursday's Norwalk Reflector.)

Janesville officials talked about the phase-out plans.

"These plans come in response to market pressures, including increased demand from customers to manufacture in closer proximity to their operations," the company said in a prepared statement.

"The company intends to establish a new plant in Kansas, Missouri or Nebraska before the close of 2013, a location within reach of the assembly plants of many current Janesville Acoustics customers," officials said.

The Norwalk plant is scheduled to permanently close by the end of 2014, with the earliest signs of the phase-out period commencing this fall, officials added.

"We've worked around the challenges associated with supplying customers long-distance from Norwalk," said David Cataldi, president of Janesville Acoustics.

"However, given the rising costs of logistics and the benefits of improved flexibility and efficiency that come from working nearby our business partners, we've reached a point where proximity has become essential to our continued growth," Cataldi added.

"Decisions that affect the lives of our employees and their families are extremely difficult to make," he said. "We greatly value the contributions each of our employees have made during our more than 20 years in Norwalk and are committed to supporting them during this difficult transition."

Janesville is headquartered in Southfield, Mich.

"Janesville Acoustics will immediately enter negotiations with the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board, the union representatives of its employees, and is committed to working with them to assist employees throughout the extended phase-out of the plant," Janesville officials added.

Founded in 1875, Janesville also has plants and satellite offices in Mississippi, North Carolina, Germany and Mexico.

Doug Warren, local union representative at Janesville (Workers United), said officials pulled workers off first shift Wednesday and made the announcement at the Norwalk plant.

Warren said employees were stunned.

"Just like anybody, you go through a wide range of emotions," Warren said. "There was shock. People were visibly upset. It's an emotional time when you hear the company you know is closing the facility. You're talking about people's livelihoods."

The announcement appeared to catch Norwalk officials flat-footed.

"We just received the information this morning," said Ellen Heinz, executive director of the Norwalk Economic Development Corp.

"This is terrible news and we will work to see if there is any way we can keep the company here. Janesville has been one of our largest employers and a corporate partner for many years and the jobs it has provided to Norwalk and Huron County have been very important to our community," Heinz added.

"Although we have worked with the company on many issues and communicate with their representatives on a regular basis, more information is still coming in. According to their corporate leadership, they came to this decision because our local plant doesn't meet their logistical needs in regards to the proximity to the clients they serve," Heinz said.

"We have reached out to our area partners, regional leadership and the state to coordinate efforts to do everything possible and to support the workforce and the community," she added.



To your bozo complaints.. A few years ago it was ok to bash Bush, but now... one is beneath to talk bad about the president..?? get real


The mayor has nothing to do with this. This decision is higher up and much bigger than him, so blaming him is just peeing into the wind.

Now The Rest of...

He was the one that promised jobs, jobs, jobs to get elected.


Re: "The mayor has nothing to do with this."

Agree. BUT, he campaigned on an economic development platform.

Ya lay down with dogs, ya wake up with fleas.

He OWNS it.


People can take the easy way out and boo hoo with the masses. Or sit back, regroup, maybe sell a few things, load the wagons in search for better grounds.

Scranton Tibbs

If more people had your attitude truckin, we wouldn't be in this mess.


Everyone complains about right to work states. The LIVING GUALITY is the same. Maybe lower wage but lower housing, cost taxes etc


How can you say lower housing cost ? thats laughable and sad at the same time .Housing for the average person making 7.25 is about 450.00 a month plus utilities . A person making 7.25 an hour cant afford to buy let alone rent a place and still be able to make it .In order for them to be able to make it , they would have to work in some cses two jobs and that places them in paying double in gas to get to the jobs not to mention places them in higher tax braket so mean the 2 nd job may only take care of taxes and some of the gas they use to go back and forth .think about it before you speak Please !


1st. minimum wage is set for BEGINNER-STARTER not meant for one to stop learning, developing skills, all in which to grow, earn more, then start a family! Not slid through school, stop wanting to learn and just skate by, then ask for more money so things can be fair..Like the $15 hr plan. Ok think, a low skilled BEGINNER worker will now make almost as much (more than half) of a skilled RN Nurse, who went to a higher education, studied for hrs and nites for yrs.to pass, then is responsible for the medical care of others, versus a kid or non-eager "drifter thru life" who flips a burger with NO recourse or punishment, let alone a lawsuit if that burger is made wrong??? or forgets the cheese. and If you know say everyone's wage should increase??? No hope for you..


Truckin, You think everyone can just up move with the drop of a hat to find work,go to college, You must be living in the past bud, This is not the 1940's ok, I'm guessing by your name your a truck driver, where yes there is endless jobs in that field. Not everyone can drive a freakin semi ok, And I am living proof you can not live on mim wage, pay rent,gas,utility's,food,car insurance,doc. and meds. With out having to use government assistance for help.


So i take it you are living under the bridge with a tarp as a roof, worn out shoes, cooking your meal over a barrel, crapping in a bucket, standing with your ribs showing thru your skin??
Or are you in an apartment which you only pay a 5th of actual cost, cool AC, running car, cell phone, own a computer with internet, cable and my best guess, WAY over weight.. Any truth to this???


I am not saying education is not important , cause I agree that it is , but its also a fact that even people in collage has to pay for that education and thats not cheap , and someone that has taken loans out to go to collage have to pay the loans back after a certain time and if a job isnt available at the time that they complete collage , it doesnt mean they can put off paying back the loans .
Now I have a question for someone like you , and that is how can he pay it back and servive till he has a chance to use what he has learned ? What he is suppose to be able to pay it back on 7.25 an hour ? Wake up my friend .
And now that I have stated this opionon of fact , let me ask you how many people can afford collage these days ? with more plants closing and not enough jobs that really pay something that people or workers can say is fair and they can make it
I am not saying that you shouldnt be in favor of a 401k cause to tell you the truth after the raw deal the retirees got from Delphi and K.B.I as well as G.M i can not say that I think your plan on the 401k as well as your stocks isnt a bad idea but at the same token you have to also have to remember that you are banking on your retirement off the backs of people that are just like you and working for a lot less then what you are working for .


To your complaint on repay college, no jobs?? study something that can actually be of a service, create or build or fix.. So many graduating in fields with no actual direction.. 1st. business,-way to broad, can be learned thru actual work. 2nd, social worker?= way too many people out there telling others what they should be doing. Arts, Language etc.. Bottom line, If the young and parents alike would stop thinking them or there children are above actual dirty work--plumber, ac man, nurse, trucker, welder, carpenter, mechanic, etc. Those fields are always in need, but frowned on because one may actually have to sweat, get dirty.. but pay well and always needed.


If I had to do all over I'd pick any of the above. Good pay, most have decent schedule to be able to have a family, etc. And your right trucker- no one wants to get dirty anymore. Shoot- my father always said become a garbage man. Decent pay, city benifits, retirement plan. May smell like s^*T for 8 hours but you make enough money to buy the good soap!!


Cheaper to live in right to work states??? DUH


Source Gene!!!


I dont care what the experts say . We are in a depression people
Just look at all the job lost in the last several years
Look at K.B.I IN SANDUSKY They only have work through 2015 or 16 but they are not running like they were during the Clinton cycle .I can remember going past that plant when it was Delphi and you could not find a parking spot , and for the last several years you see very little cars and very little action . And now from what I have read is K.B.I is going to make bearings for two cars . So they arent going to need a whole lot of people . As a matter of fact just the two bearings with only keep the plant open .
Its a shame .
The register said that Erie Countys jobless rate jumped from just a little of 3 percent and now its back over 8 percent . The only reason it was a little over 3 percent is only due to the summer season and in the summer the demand always go up for seasonal work .
We need to find a way to put people back to work full time and year round .I know that the detroit deal was due to miss mangement . But if cities across this great nation of ours dont heed the warning , you will see a lot more cities following suit
Tring to depend on torrism is not a long term solution. That might have been good back in the day when things were so much cheaper , but now things are a lot more expensive and demand for Full Time Year Round work to Buy and Pay for things is higher , and this goverment dont seem to believe this or understand this .
Look at the price of gas during the Clinton Years and then look at them now .The base wage in this coutry is 7.25 and is sad , You have families out here that are only making 7.25 and tring to support their family on 7.25 .And they spend 1/4 or more of the check they make just to pay for gas to get back and forth to work .And I am only using this as a example of what trouble this country is in if something isnt done and fast to equal this out and make things affordable for everyone
To make a point as to why this plant as well as plants like it are closing the doors is due to Corp greed .and they are only hurting themselves by sending jobs over seas . I mean common stop and think people , Can the people that took our jobs able to buy what they help make ? From what I have read and seen they can not .
when the jobs were here in the states people that made the product could afford to buy what they make .Now they can not ,and never will be able to buy what they make, so demand drops and production decreases and when it decreases ,plants close For god sake just look at the plants that have gone over seas or closed .progress is whats putting this country in the mess it is in , plants close do to production decreases and then its the same Companies like G.M as well as others cry to the people that they put out of work and ask for help to remain open , and Obama used American Tax dollars to bail them out when this would have seen self inflicted due to corp and stock holder greed. Away they could have been helped would have been for G.M to agree to bring back to the states the jobs lost, and make American made cars , all american .
All G.M is tring to do is protect is stock holders and their own pockets . and at the tax payers pockets even though they paid it back . And now they are showing a profit .But at what cost ? And it sickens me Cause you dont know how long they can go before they get into a mess again and need tax dollars to help bail them out again .The bankrupsy they went through in my ming is only a temp fix and not a long term fix , Putting American jobs back to america is the only solution I can think of



Re: "We are in a depression people"

BING, BING, BING!!! We have a winner!

And it is specific to a state and/or region.

Columbus is doin' well and other states like TX, ND and others are booming.

On a national basis, one need only look at the number of people on govt. assistance and the FACT that the Federal Reserve has been buying govt. debt to the tune of over $1T annually for several yrs.

The road to an economic resurgence of Huron Co. and surrounding areas leads through Columbus, but specifically DC.


Yea and dont forget cooperate greed as well as Stock holder greed


Stop saying GREED. Heck i am greedy. I am NOT going to delivare your food for a smile??


That greed is why your 401K goes up. So you want to put money in your 401K and have it go down in value so you don't look greedy?


gene....a real pathetic post. I have money invested in stocks. That is my retirement and the retirement for 99% of the working class. I want my stocks to do well, to go up so I can make more for my future. Yeah, lets invest in stocks to hope they go down, so I lose money, so everyone else loses money, so the companies have to layoff more people or go under.....

You have it all backwards.


We've been in a depression for many years. People just don't see it because it's not the mirror image of the 1930's.

Sadly, this ( BAD economy) will all be forgotten in a few months when the U.S. headlines will be all about the big bucks spent on Christmas Shopping.

hit the road jack

gene: If you only knew the $hit GM pulled on their employees,UAW and us the taxpayer who bailed them out only to have them take like 15 billion and build new plants in China,Mexico,Brazil and Europe and take thousands of jobs out of the US how dumb can the idiots in Washington be or is by design?
and as far as KBI or new departure or whatever you want to call it,hell I remember back when they did their changeover (i'm thinking late 80's or early 90's) I knew people who were working there and took a newspaper or book to work for like 3 or 4 years straight,never did a thing and made 50,000-60,000 a year then when they got the machines running they retired.


The Mayor and Economic Development Association definitely deserve some blame here. The writing has been on the wall for quite a while, yet where were the leaders of this city? Where were the plans to keep them? What incentives were they given to stay? NADA....nothing....and now this administration is sitting around saying they didn't know this was happening...funny, everyone else in this town knew it.


I for one don't blame them for moving. A company is there to make profits and serve customers. If that requires closing a facility, then that's what happens. It's not "greed" or Obama's fault, or Mayor Duncan's...It's business. Hate to see people lose their jobs, but unfornately low skill laborers don't have much leverage.


This type of thing has been happening to hard working middle class Americans for 50 plus years. And I dont agree with anyone who simply chalks it up to "business is business." That company AND it's wealthy shareholders have been making millions upon millions of dollars off of the sweat of hard working middle class people since there inception. The simple reason there moving is because some rich-a$$ executive's somewhere up the ladder cound'nt put enough fuel in his yatch this summer so he decided to move the company somewhere he could pay his employee's less and put more money his own pocket. Period.


Have anything to back these claims up with? Any earnings statements? Proof of dividends paid out? Pictures of the yacht?

Really are you ...

They moved to be closer to their customers operations. Parts for Ford and Chevrolet are made all over North America, South America, Japan... But the place where it is all put together is in Detroit. Right? Correct me if I am wrong, but moving out west, isn't that moving further away from the customers operations in Detroit? Is Janesville going to be supplying sound deadening material to International Harvester or John Deer? From Obamas stimulas package, is Fisker going to build an auto manufacturing plant out west? Couldn't be for Tesla Motors, they are in California.


Holy crap get off your high horse and get a clue while ur at it "NORBILLIES." If you're nieve enough to believe this wasn't ALL about CEO and upper management bonus checks shrinking then you are beyond help. We don't need to see "dividens or earning statements" Or pictures of a yacht, my comment was a statement of reflection on how big corperations have only one thing in mind, making sure they keep getting raises and bonus checks while everyone else suffers and continues to lose money. You're a jacka$$ norbillies. Maybe you should pack up and move with Janesville since you clearly seem to support there desicion to put 300 people out of work so save there own skin.