TruSeal plant in Knox County will close

It's something county officials believe will devastate the local economy. More than 200 employees at Barbourville's TruSeal manufacturing plant found out Monday they will be let go.

The parent company of TruSeal wants to consolidate its operations into a facility in Cambridge, Ohio.

A rough timetable for the cutbacks is now in place. The company will start moving equipment from the plant in January. By August it will be closed for good.

"I heard a few people cry. You know you heard several moans of disappointment," said Keith Abner.

Abner said the news of the closing came as quite a shock.

"I've worked for them for 34 years this past August," said Abner," I think there have been subtle hints, but nobody expected it to come to this, this quick."

Employees at TruSeal were called into a meeting early Monday morning. That's when they found out about the layoffs.

The plant makes sealants for windows. Company representatives said the restructuring is based on the sluggish economy and will put the consolidated operations closer to other company facilities.

"I've contacted them this morning to ask if there is something the county can do from that standpoint to keep the jobs or keep the factory here. He said the decision had been made," said J.M. Hall, Knox County Judge-Executive.

County officials said they had no advance warning of the company's plans and the hardest part will be dealing with what's left behind.

"It's not like you can just pick up a factory and bring back to this building. It's going to be a real blow to our community," said Hall.

"It devastates the community. It affects more than just the employee and their family. It affects the community," said David Thompson, Barbourville Mayor.

Abner said he feels a different kind of hurt.

He's a Knox County Magistrate, so he knows in more ways than one the damage this will do.

"They're not only my coworkers. They are the people that helped elect me. And they're the people I've worked with for 34 years. They're more like family than they are co-workers," said Abner.

The General Manager of the parent company Quanex said the Ohio facility for the most part has a complete workforce so transferring facilities may not be possible.

We're told the company gave most employees the day off after the announcement.

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