POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - NORDYNE announced Thursday that it will gradually relocate its split system and furnace manufacturing lines to a new manufacturing site in Saltillo, Mexico.
According to the company, the move will affect around 200 employees in the Boonville and around 500 employees at the Poplar Bluff facility. They will continue to manufacture select heating and cooling systems in the company's Dyersburg, Tenn. plant.
"Moving production was an incredibly difficult decision given the impact to our employees and to the Missouri communities," says Dave LaGrand, president and CEO of NORDYNE. "But the long-term viability and competitiveness of NORDYNE will be greatly enhanced by this strategic business move."
NORDYNE says impacted employees will receive severance pay, extended health insurance coverage and outplacement services through local resources.
"We are committed to minimizing the impact on our employees and helping them through this transition," adds LaGrand.
The Mexico facility is expected to be at full capacity by the end of 2015, with the transition starting early next year.
"NORDYNE strongly feels that this manufacturing move is necessary to remain competitive," explains LaGrand. "We wouldn't be doing it otherwise."
NORDYNE says they opened its Boonville, Mo. plant in 1979, and its Poplar Bluff, Mo. facility in 2001. The Dyersburg, Tenn. plant started operations in 2003.
People in Poplar Bluff said they're shocked to hear that the employer is closing.
"Well I was quite horrified to hear that news, I was sorely disappointed for our community, to pull that much out of our economic community, is almost devastating," said Mary Rose Stricker of Poplar Bluff.
"I do know people that have worked there for many years, so again, it's just really sad because what are they going to do now," said Dianna Damron of Poplar Bluff.
They said they're worried for the future growth of the town.
"I think it's scary, I think we had initially thought that our town was growing, you know and we were looking toward the growth, but unfortunately this could kind of put a damper on that in a sense I think," said Damron.
"It's going to affect every business, whether you're a hair dresser, a home improvement center, a paint store, even Walmart, it's going to affect Walmarts, you know Walmart is one of Nordyne's largest customers, no business in town will go un touched," said Stricker.
"I was pretty shocked by that, I didn't think it would ever come to that in this town," said Damron.
"Of course that's going to be disappointing and depressing and it really concerns me about the future growth of Poplar Bluff," said Stricker.
"Everybody, I will affect the businesses, the moral also because these people will not have a place to go for a job once they've lost theirs," said Damron.
Rep. Todd Richardson released this statement about Nordyne's decision to close the Poplar Bluff facility:
"It was with extreme disappointment that I received the news of Nordyne's decision to close its facility in Poplar Bluff. The impact of this closure will be devastating not only for the 500 employees who will be without work, but for our entire community. It's discouraging to see a Missouri-based business make a decision to pursue profits on foreign soil and to leave a great community and its hundreds of hardworking employees who have been a huge part of the company's success. I will be working directly with the Missouri Department of Economic Development to ensure that every resource is available to the people that will be affected by this closure. My focus now is on helping Poplar Bluff to attract new businesses that will bring family-supporting jobs to our community. The Poplar Bluff area is blessed to have a great many positive things happening right now. Despite this closing I am confident we will continue to attract and retain employers who realize the value of employing the hardworking and highly-skilled workforce we are blessed to have here in this region."