Plant Closes Doors

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Nearly 50 people are heading to the unemployment line after American Standard closes its Paintsville plant in Johnson County.

The sign still stood back in May when officials with American Standard announced it would be closing its Paintsville plant in October after being in operation more than 40 years. Now the sign is gone and the doors closed.

“Every company is being challenged to be profitable, particularly given what's happening in the economy,” said American Standard spokesperson Tracy Benson Kirker.

With 48 people out of a job, Johnson County Judge Executive Tucker Daniel says the county's economy will suffer.

“Those jobs were dollars that were being spent in this economy. And they're going to be missed,” said Daniel.

He says it is unfortunate the jobs are leaving the country.

“A lot of those Jobs, we understand, went to Mexico, which not just American Standard but numerous companies all over this country have exported jobs,” said Daniel.

“It's not economical for us to have jobs taken away from us and sent to other countries and then bring the product back into our states and sell them,” said Winfield Holbrook, a Johnson County resident.

“It's hard, you know because, I think we do have hard working Americans, who are willing to work,” said Patty Kestener of Paintsville.

American Standard officials cite increasing energy costs and the plant's distance to the interstate as factors in the closing, but say they understand the community's loss.

“Individuals and their family's livelihoods are affected by these decisions and we don't take that lightly,” said Kirker.

Company Officials say they are in the process of helping their former employees find new jobs.

Judge Executive Daniel says he expects some relief for the county's economy and job loss with companies like Halliburton starting operations there soon.

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