Richfield, Ohio, is in the running to become the new home of 400 office workers who will be displaced by the closing this summer of the Rubbermaid Home Organization Products Division headquarters in Wooster, Ohio.
Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid Inc. announced in December that it would close the division's Wooster plant and lay off 850 manufacturing workers, but would relocate the office staff of 400. Newell Rubbermaid spokeswoman Keri Butler said last week the company is ``exploring all options at this point'' as to where to locate the office employees. She would not be more specific.
Chuck Wiedie, assistant director of administration for economic development in Summit County, where the village is located, said he was not familiar with specific places Newell Rubbermaid is considering other than Richfield.
``They've looked at several areas to relocate some people,'' Wiedie said. ``They've been looking at places for the past several months.''
Butler said if Newell Rubbermaid would open an office in Richfield, which is between Akron and Cleveland, the employees would come only from the Wooster location, not from other offices within the company.
Meanwhile, officials in Wooster are working with the Wayne Economic Development Council to entice the company to keep the office workers in Wayne County, said Andrei Dordea, city finance director.
Dordea said the city will lose more than $600,000 in annual income tax revenue when the Wooster operation closes after 84 years in the community. He did not know how much income tax the city collects just from the division's 400 office workers.
Butler said the company plans to transfer office workers out of Wooster by the end of June.
Newell Rubbermaid plans to sell the Wooster location, which the company said is significantly more expensive to run than other U.S. plants.