US metals sector hit with more customer plant closures

A roundup of employment cutbacks announced in Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act letters filed to state labor agencies in the United States over the past month or two, including at least 14 full closures, indexed by sector.


  • Eagle Manufacturing will permanently close an automotive parts machine shop in northern Kentucky and cut 239 jobs, with a projected date of Saturday October 31.
  • Tenneco Inc said its Sparta, Michigan, plant – which produces piston ring castings – will cease operations, at a cost of 121 jobs. 
  • Maxion Wheels, a manufacturer of steel and aluminium wheels, will cease production at an Akron, Ohio, plant by December, resulting in the loss of 80 jobs. The work force is represented by the United Steelworkers union. 
  • Dura Automotive, a Gibson, Tennessee-based manufacturer of auto components, said 43 positions were being eliminated as of October 1.
  • Greenbrier Rail Services said it will lay off 23 people at its site in Hershey, Nebraska. 
  • National Railway Equipment will close a location in Dixmoor, Illinois, by the end of the year, with the permanent layoff of 24 people.
  • Smeal Fire Apparatus, which produces aerial ladders and other equipment for fire trucks, will close a site in Neligh, Nebraska, resulting in the loss of 23 jobs.  


  • Airplane maker Boeing Co told Washington state that the company will permanently lay off 530 people in the Puget Sound region beginning next month. 
  • Howmet Aerospace will permanently lay off 150 people at a castings facility in La Porte, Indiana, by November 9. That is in addition to the 115 people let go at that plant over the summer.
  • Aircraft bearings producer Regal Beloit America will permanently close a plant at Valparaiso, Indiana, by May 2021. The gradual reduction of 86 employees begins in November.
  • Honeywell Aerospace will permanently close its plant in Troy, New York, in April 2022, resulting in the loss of 40 jobs. The production work is being moved to the company’s facility in South Bend, Indiana.


  • Seadrill Americas, a Houston-based deepwater drilling contractor for oil and gas field operations, laid off 168 employees as of October 1.
  • Arcosa Wind Towers, a structural fabricator, will lay off 148 workers in Clinton, Illinois, beginning in November. 
  • Enid, Oklahoma-based Gefco Inc, which specializes in manufacturing drilling equipment, announced a cutback affecting 92 positions.

Other Metals/Industrial:

  • Shop-Vac Corp, a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, will close a plant in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, by November 13, with 325 people set to lose their jobs.
  • Cooper Lighting Solutions, a producer of light fixtures, will close a plant at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on October 15, resulting in the loss of 300 jobs.  
  • Emerson’s Therm-O-Disk division will lay off 248 people during an 18-month process of closing a plant in Mansfield, Ohio, that produces bimetal controls and fabricated components.
  • Wacker Neuson, which makes construction and material-handling equipment, has permanently laid off 186 workers at Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, including 142 members of the USW.
  • Kennametal, a supplier of tooling and industrial materials in Washington, Tennessee, announced a cutback that will affect 141 workers on October 15.
  • Two western Pennsylvania locations of Mercer Forge Corp laid off a combined 123 workers beginning in August. 
  • A Raymond Tinnerman Industrial, a manufacturer of metal fasteners, clips and assemblies, said it will close a plant in Brunswick, Ohio, with 54 people losing their jobs by February 2021.  
  • Freeport-McMoRan said its Phelps Dodge specialty copper division will lay off 99 people in Norwich, Connecticut, and 48 workers in Elizabeth, New Jersey, between October and December. The company eventually plans to close the Norwich plant, it added. 
  • Barton Manufacturing closed its machine shop in Decatur, Illinois, on September 30, resulting in the loss of 45 jobs.
  • Power connector producer Methode Electronics will close a facility in Carthage, Illinois, with 42 people to be permanently laid off by May 2021. 

Elizabeth Ramanand in New York contributed to this article.

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