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Published: Thursday, 2/9/2006

400-worker plant to shut in Bellevue

BELLEVUE, Ohio - A Huron County plant that makes heating and air-conditioning equipment will close by the end of the year, ending jobs for 400 workers.

Allied Air Enterprises, which is part of Texas-based Len-

nox International, will transfer the work to a five-year-old factory in Orangeburg, S.C., to cut costs, spokesman Karen O'Shea said. The move will create 300 jobs there.

The move is to begin in midyear and be mostly completed by year's end. An unspecified number of research and development employees could remain on the job until early 2007, the spokesman said.

The factory operated many years as Armstrong Air Conditioning but changed its name when Lennox combined Armstrong with another unit.

"It was a surprise," union representative Gary Cheek said of the closing announcement. The company and United Auto Workers Local 1623, which represents plant workers, are to meet Monday to discuss terms of the closure.

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