An electronics injection molding plant in western Pennsylvania is scheduled to shut down in October, but the workers haven't given up hope - they're using the Internet and other promotions to try to find a new employer.
FCI USA Inc. plans to shut its Clearfield, Pa., facility and move the work to two other plants in the state. Employees have set up a Web site promoting their expertise in design, tool building, molding and assembly. They hope to attract another company to hire them as an intact work force, said Jim Afton, senior staff engineer.
The Clearfield operation molds electronics connectors for telecommunications equipment. Related plants in Mount Union and Emigsville, Pa., will pick up Clearfield's work and some of its machinery. FCI is evaluating what to do with the rest of the machinery and two buildings at the site, but probably will sell them, said spokesman Michel Cuilhie.
Soon to be available are FCI Clearfield's 26 engineers, 74 die and toolmakers and hundreds more skilled and partly skilled workers. Depressed sales in telecommunications equipment led to FCI planning the Clearfield closure. The town and surrounding area are hurting from other recent closures. Clearfield is about 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Afton said the employees' Web site, www.clearfieldworks.com, includes the resumes of many of the employees, in case they are not hired en masse. FCI workers set up the site June 11, and an Associated Press story on June 19 gave the effort a promotional boost. Workers also bought ads in some trade magazines. The Web site has had a lot of hits, according to Rick Conklin, a quality engineer. He said it was too early to tell how many inquiries are serious ones.
Clearfield had 89 injection presses, with clamping forces of 15-220 tons. FCI already has begun moving some of them. FCI USA is a subsidiary of FCI SA of Paris, formerly known as Framatome Connectors International.