A bottle making plant in Kentucky is permanently closing after its owners lost a key contract, according to information provided to the state.
Graham Packaging Co. LP told the Kentucky Division of Workforce and Employment Services that its manufacturing site at 8283 Dixie Highway in Florence is expected to close for good on Jan. 25.
The company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act notice with the state indicating "48 actively hourly employees and nine active salaried employees will be affected by the permanent termination."
Hourly workers are unionized and will receive severance.
"The decision to close the Florence plant is not a reflection of the workforce, but rather a result of the lack of sales and the decision of its primary customer to take its business elsewhere, along with the company's decision to sell the property and plant building to a neighboring organization," the letter states.
Most, but not all workers, are expected to lose their jobs in late January. They are being given the opportunity to apply for other open positions within the company. The company has a second location at 7559 Vulcan Drive in Florence. Florence is located in northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati.
"A few employees may be asked to remain employed after the final closing date for the purpose of dismantling equipment and assisting with general cleanup," the letter states.
Graham Packaging is the second-largest blow molder in the North America, according to the most recent Plastics News ranking of the industry published in November. The company has annual sales of $2.15 billion, all from bottles.
News of the Kentucky closure comes as another company has told Georgia officials that it is closing a site that will cost more jobs.
PolyCycle Solutions LLC is closing a manufacturing site in Newnan, Ga., before the end of the year, resulting in the loss of more than a dozen jobs.
The company has filed a notice with the Georgia Department of Labor indicating the closure date will be a few days after Christmas.
"We have sold part of our business, and will be closing one of our locations as of December 28," noted an email to the state labor department from the company.
"Currently, there are 17 associates who will be displaced from the facility," the email later stated.
Earlier this year, Consolidated Container Co. LLC purchased a California PolyCycle location from DS Services of America Inc., a CCC official confirmed. CCC indicated it does not own the plant in Georgia.
The notice of the upcoming closure came from a human resources official at DS Services. The company manufacturers 2.5-gallon water bottles.