Amsterdam, N.Y., officials are trying to keep a blow molding operation going after toy maker Hasbro Inc. closes its facility there at the end of November. The city of 20,000 stands to lose about 400 jobs when Hasbro closes its blow molding and injection molding plant and moves production to El Paso, Texas. Amsterdam Mayor John Duchessi is spearheading efforts to buy the aging Hasbro plant and some of its equipment so that about 200 will continue to be employed there, according to Michael Borges, executive director of the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency.
``We have a ready-made work force in blow molding,'' Borges said in a recent telephone interview.
The 20,000-square-foot molding operation ``is still functional,'' although much of the rest of the 300,000-square-foot building is old and inefficient. Hasbro now has about 20 molding machines in the building, he estimated.
Hasbro plans to move some equipment from Amsterdam to El Paso, but company spokesman Wayne Charness could provide no details. He said El Paso will begin production of the relocated work early next year.
Hasbro adjusted its work schedule so that crucial Christmas season shipments will not be affected, Charness said from the firm's head office in Pawtucket, R.I.
Amsterdam officials want an outside company or group of firms to buy some of the space and machinery from Hasbro, and the city is willing to help coordinate a deal, Borges said. City officials plan to meet with Hasbro by early December to discuss a possible sale.
Charness said his firm is ``looking at a number of options,'' including selling the building. Borges said he expects that any deal would include a noncompete clause.
Several firms have expressed interest in buying some of the Hasbro machinery and space, according to Borges, but he would not reveal them. The city remains open to other offers.
Jerry Ligon, president of Hasbro's manufacturing service group, noted in a news release, ``The competitive nature of the toy business demands that we constantly fine-tune the production load in our various plants in North America.''
A few years ago, the toy giant began moving toy production from plants in the northeastern United States to other locations. It closed its Wayne, N.J., and Salem, Mass., plants and cut employment in Rhode Island facilities. Northeast custom molders also lost contracts.
Hasbro's Amsterdam facility started promoting its custom injection and blow molding services last year to general industry. It acquired the plant in 1988 when it bought Coleco Industries Inc. Its other facilities are in El Paso; Springfield, Mass.; Tijuana and Ju rez, Mexico; and Mon-treal. It also relies on contract molders in the Far East.
Hasbro reported profit of $100.8 million for the nine months ended Sept. 29, up 43 percent from last year. Sales of $1.9 billion were 3 percent higher. Early this year, rival Mattel Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., failed in a $5.2 billion takeover bid for Hasbro.