Carbon County (PA) Commissioners Are Concern About KME Plant Closure

Carbon County Commissioners/Facebook Photo

The closing of the KME plant in Pennsylvania has Carbon County commissioners worried about the nearly 400 people who work there, according to a report published by The Morning Call.

The newspaper said KME, with a plant in Nesquehoning, is one of the county’s largest employers and layoffs in the spring will affect the community and the people who live there, the newspaper reported.

KME’s parent company, REV Group, Inc, based in Milwaukee, announced plans to close facilities in Pennsylvania and Virginia, the paper reported.

Local labor, industry and economic development organizations and some employers have already started talking to local employees, the paper reported.

County officials have told the newspaper, they’ve heard younger KME employees are not waiting for the furloughs to occur, opting to leave the company sooner as to not lose out on other better paying jobs.

With people leaving before the furlough, the commissioners are wondering if KME will be able to fulfill the current orders they have, many for local fire departments, including Lehighton and Hazelton, the newspaper reported, adding both communities have apparatus on order from KME with a ladder truck due to be delivered in March, just before closure.

The newspaper reported that KME is offering a separation package for employees which will give workers more money based on the number of years with the company. The company is also working with career service organizations in the area to help employees find new work opportunities, the paper said.

County officials say they area appreciative of the fact that KME has given seven months’ notice before closing the plants, the paper reported, noting that some other plant closures have happened in just three days, giving hardly any time to prepare for a transition.

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