Norwalk plant to shut, 300 likely to lose jobs

Janesville Acoustics looks at Plains states

Janesville Acoustics
Janesville Acoustics

NORWALK, Ohio — Norwalk will lose one of its larger employers next year when Janesville Acoustics shuts its doors.

A company spokesman said Tuesday the plant will wind down operations this fall and close by the end of 2014. The plant employs about 300; 270 are unionized hourly workers.

Janesville is an automotive supplier of various sound-deadening and thermal insulation products. The Southfield, Mich., firm has several plants in the United States. Its parent is Jason Inc. of Milwaukee.

Janesville said the decision to close the plant was connected with customers wanting it to build products closer to their operations. “We’ve worked around the challenges associated with supplying customers long-distance from Norwalk. However, given the rising costs of logistics and the benefits of improved flexibility and efficiency that come from working nearby our business partners, we’ve reached a point where proximity has become essential to our continued growth,” company President David Cataldi said. A site in Kansas, Missouri, or Nebraska, closer to customers, is likely to be chosen before year’s end.

“Decisions that affect the lives of our employees and their families are extremely difficult to make. We greatly value the contributions each of our employees have made during our more than 20 years in Norwalk and are committed to supporting them during this difficult transition,” he said.

It wasn’t clear whether any of those people would get offers to transfer to another plant.