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Published: Wednesday, 8/11/2010

North Baltimore plastics firm declares intent to close, put 214 out of jobs


NORTH BALTIMORE, Ohio - A factory that has threatened for months to leave southern Wood County for Indiana if it couldn't reduce its costs has filed notice that it now intends to close, putting 214 people out of work.

Continental Structural Plastics Inc., based in Troy, Mich., has filed notice with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that it intends to close its North Baltimore factory in October and lay off its entire work force.

The filing came six months after the firm last told the state it planned to lay off its entire manufacturing work force in North Baltimore, and roughly six weeks after it met with state and local officials, seeking assistance to lower its costs of operation.

A spokesman for Continental Tuesday had no comment on the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification act filing.

In June, Jim McLean, Continental's director of manufacturing, met with state Rep. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green), city and county officials, and representatives of Gov. Ted Strickland, the state development department, and the United Auto Workers.

At the time, Mr. McLean said Continental might move to a former competitor's plant in Huntington, Ind., unless efficiencies could be found in North Baltimore. State officials had sought EPA approval to let Continental discontinue using an incinerator that reduces its emissions, which the company said costs $500,000 a year to run. It also sought concessions from the UAW.

Dina Pierce, an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesman, said after the June meeting a letter was sent to Continental detailing how to get a modified emissions permit. She said Continental never sought the waiver to stop using the incinerator.

Continental also threatened to close its North Baltimore plant in 2008, but did not do so.

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