GOTHENBURG — One of Gothenburg’s manufacturing facilities is set to close within a year, company officials announced.
In a news release, the Engine Mobile and Hydraulic Platform of Parker Filtration Group, an operation group under Parker Hannifin, announced the closing of the facility at 300 W. First St. in Gothenburg as part of “a manufacturing realignment plan.”
Parker Hannifin is the owner of Baldwin Filters’ parent company, CLARCOR Corp. Production will be transferred to the Baldwin Filters plant in Kearney.
Gothenburg City Administrator Bruce Clymer said the closing of the plant is a huge blow to the community, a town made up of about 3,500 people, according to the United States Census Bureau in 2010.
“Baldwin is one of our larger employers and most certainly, you know, a big user of our city services. So, yeah, it’s gonna hurt,” he said.
The process of closing will begin immediately and should be completed by the end of October 2018, according to the Parker news release. The Gothenburg operation manufactures filtration products primarily for transportation and off-highway markets and employs about 140 people. Parker also has a facility at 1000 12th St. in Gothenburg, but only the First Street facility will be closing, Aidan Gormley, Parker’s director, global communications and branding, said in an email to the Hub.
Employees at the Gothenburg facility will be offered opportunities in the Kearney plant, but the exact numbers have yet to be determined, Gormley wrote. The move could result in higher employment levels at the Kearney plant, Gormley said in his email.
When asked whether other Nebraska communities could expect more layoffs or facility closings, Gormley said, “Parker is committed to Nebraska and maintains a number of facilities in the state, including Gothenburg, and is (a) significant employer there.
“This plan to close manufacturing in Gothenburg in no way reflects the performance of our dedicated employees there,” the news release from Parker stated. “We are committed to easing the transition for all our employees, including severance pay, re-employment opportunities and outplacement support. We very much appreciate the support we have received from the Gothenburg, Nebraska, community over the years.”
Though Gothenburg’s Clymer doesn’t know Parker’s plans for the building, he said if it does sell, Gothenburg leaders will work hard to find another company to fit within the community.
In February, Parker Hannifin, a corporation specializing in motion and control technologies, purchased CLARCOR Corp. in a $4.3 billion sale. As a result, the Franklin, Tenn.-based CLARCOR became a wholly owned subsidiary of Parker, headquartered in Cleveland.
With the buyout there was “excess manufacturing capacity and redundant capability across both businesses,” according to the news release. The realignment is intended to allow for greater focus and scale in the remaining facilities and will ensure higher quality and shorter lead times for customers.
There are currently no plans for the Gothenburg building as of yet.
“Typically, we would look to sell the facility once it’s closed,” Gormley wrote.
Kearney’s Baldwin Filters employs about 1,000 people and is the top manufacturing employer in the Kearney area, according to Buffalo County Economic Development.
In addition to the Baldwin facilities in Kearney and Gothenburg, Parker’s other Nebraska plants are at McCook, Alliance and Lincoln.