Whitley Plymouth plants targeted for closure--again

86 workers stand to lose their jobs in a pair of possible plant closings in Plymouth.

It’s the second time in a month’s-time that the jobs of workers at Whitley Products have been on the line.

“It’s not a thousand jobs, but 100 jobs to a city our size, it means a lot,” said Mayor Mark Senter, (R) Plymouth.

On January 24th, the Plymouth operations of Whitley Products shut down abruptly and immediately. Soon afterward, Work One formed a Rapid Response team to help the displace workers. “Actually, while out people, Work One people were on site during the first rapid response, the employees received a call a phone call that they were being called back to their jobs,” said Work One’s Chuck Knebl.

By early February, all the Whitley workers had been recalled and the Plymouth plants were back up and running.

“When they came out a few weeks ago it, you knew something was up, but just thought maybe it was truly just a cash flow problem and they got it shored up with another bank or whatever,” said Plymouth Common Councilman Mike Delp, (R) At Large.

At the time of the January shut down, Whitley blamed a senior lender that refused to provide the finances needed to keep the plants running.
The latest possible plant closing notice cites the company’s “current financial situation,” said Whitley will “likely permanently cease its operations.”

The letter states that the plant closings could come as soon as April 22nd, and as late as May 6th.

Whitley Products was founded in northern Indiana some 60 years ago, and has had a plant in Plymouth since 1977.

Until now, Whitley’s future seemed bright. “In 2010, I believe it was, we gave them a $900-thousand tax abatement and they have lived up to every promise they made,” said Mayor Senter.

Whitley bought new equipment, hired more workers, and opened a second Plymouth plant on Flora Street.

“Hopefully they can, they can get somebody to buy their company and they won’t have to close,” said Mayor Senter.

Whitley products is headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana.

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