Kennett Plant Closing in 2006

Kennett Plant Closing in 2006
By:  Ryan Tate
Kennett, MO -- More than 240 employees of the Emerson Motor Company plant in Kennett will be out of a job next summer, according to company leaders.
Employees make electric motors for medical and industrial pump applications.  That work will now be shipped to Emerson plants in Indiana and Monterey, Mexico.
"It has the potential to be a huge negative impact on our community," Jan McElwrath said.  McElwrath is the Executive Director of the Kennett Chamber of Commerce. 
McElwrath says Emerson is one of the top-five largest employers in Kennett, and at one time, was the largest.  The plant opened in 1959.
According to a company spokesman, "increasing competitve pressure and the prolonged downturn in the industrial electric motor markets...," are the reasons for the plant closing.    The spokesman says employees will get severance packages from the company, but they will not be allowed to transfer to another Emerson plant.
According to Larry McMillin, a 32-year veteran at the Kennett plant, the closing announcement did not come as a surprise.
"Recently we've all anticipated this to happen with production being moved out and outsourced.," McMillin said. "I'm just glad they gave us some warning so we could make plans for the future."