Protective packaging manufacturer Polyair Inter Pack Inc. by mid-March will close its plant in Youngstown, Ohio, and move operations to a facility in Bardstown, Ky., sources at the Ohio factory said.
Forty-one Youngstown employees were informed Jan. 6 of the decision to close the facility, which produces extruded polyethylene foam packaging. The sources said workers were offered jobs in Bardstown, or possibly at the company's other facilities.
Toronto-based Polyair opened the plant in 1986, the Youngstown Vindicator reported Jan. 6. The newspaper said the 160,000-square-foot factory was part of Polyair's former swimming pool products division and at one point employed 175, before Polyair sold the pool-products business in 2006 to a group of employees who operated the business as GLI Pool Products at another Youngstown site.
Mike Loccisano, GLI's vice president of operations, said by phone Jan. 8 that the company manufactures vinyl pool covers and liners, as well as other pool products, in Youngstown, but would not give details. GLI employs about 100.
Polyair officials did not return calls seeking comment. In a news release, the company said its Bardstown expansion is expected to create an initial 19 jobs and represents capital investment of more than $5.6 million, and that another expansion is planned at the site in 2011.
The move will optimize foam-production capacity in the near term, while building a more cost-effective model for the long term, CEO Gary Tessitore said in the release. The Bardstown facility, which was acquired by Polyair in 1998, has been a key site of polyethylene foam production for the company over the past 11 years.
Polyair has been approved by the state of Kentucky for up to $750,000 over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. According to state officials, Polyair anticipates the initial 19 new jobs in Bardstown will increase to 27 over that time.
Chicago-based private equity firm Glencoe Skydome Holdings LP, which held about 98 percent of Polyair when it was publicly traded, in mid-2009 bought the remaining stock from shareholders and took the company private.
With the closing of the Youngstown factory, Polyair will operate seven plants, in Atlanta; Chicago; Bardstown; Carlstadt, N.J.; Corona, Calif.; Carrollton, Texas; and Sacramento, Calif.
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