NEW HAVEN, W.Va. – Mason County commissioners are already working on a solution to keep a local plant from shutting down for several months.
Rick Handley, on vacation in North Carolina this week, was on the phone with other county officials first thing Monday morning to see what needs to be done to save jobs at Felman Productions LLC in New Haven.
“We’re trying to set up a meeting next week with the administration up there at Felman just to see what the actual issues are and hopefully we can come up with some solution to that,” Handley said..
The company announced back in May that it planned to shut down one of its furnaces this summer because demand for their product has been slow.
Felman produces an essential deoxidizer and alloy additive used in the manufacturing of steel.
The company has now decided to shut down all three of its furnaces for three, possibly four, months, until they have a better idea of where the market is headed.
At this point, the company plans to keep its full workforce on for at least two months after they idle the furnaces. But it will eventually impact a lot of workers.
“It’s a place that employs around 211 people in our county,” stressed Handley
He said that doesn’t count the spin off jobs that are produced as a result.
Handley added one positive is that workers, even if they are laid off, will continue to receive critical assistance.
“These people will still have benefits. That was a very major concern of mine”
The company has also promised employees that it will help with paperwork like applying for unemployment and other benefits, if they stay closed longer than expected.
Handley is hopeful the company will keep their furnaces operational, if the county can offer some type of assistance to keep Felman from a work stoppage.