June 12, 2003


Vernay’s largest Dayton St. plant to close at end of June

A little more than a year after Vernay Laboratories announced the closing of its Dayton Street manufacturing plants, the company will close its largest local facility, Plant 3, on Friday, June 27.

Vernay spent the last year gradually emptying Plant 3 of its manufacturing jobs and equipment, and transporting most of its operations to its three newer plants in Georgia and South Carolina, plant manager Mike Maloy said on Monday. The one automotive production line still left in the plant is scheduled to be moved down to Georgia next week and approved by the customer.

Over the last 12 months, Vernay has frequently adjusted its closure schedule to accommodate its customers.

Ten workers will be laid off when the plant closes at the end of the month.

“It will be an eventful day for the company as a whole,” Vernay President and CEO Tom Allen said. “It is traumatic for us all.”

It will likely take the company until the end of the summer to inventory and transport the rest of the equipment and supplies out of the plant, Maloy said.

Sixteen employees with an average of 20 to 25 years with Vernay were let go on May 31 in the company’s fifth round of layoffs since last fall.

After Plant 3 closes, there will be 43 manufacturing and support jobs still left in the smaller medical Plant 2, which is still scheduled to close sometime in the first half of 2004.

The company’s headquarters and research and development facilities will remain in Yellow Springs on East South College Street for the foreseeable future. Allen has said that the company may relocate its corporate offices, to accommodate an increase in staff who are moving to East South College from the Dayton Street facilities.

Though company leaders considered keeping the medical plant in town because of its somewhat unique semi-clean manufacturing environment, Allen said the current plan is to shut the plant down.

Last year Vernay announced it was closing the two Dayton Street plants because the company, officials said, had excess manufacturing capacity; it needed to adjust to its shifting customer base; and it could facilitate the environmental cleanup of the facilities if the plants were closed.

—Lauren Heaton