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Official says 55 firms contacted about taking over plant

May 07, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

It's too early to tell whether attempts to find a company to take over the BFGoodrich plant when it closes in June will be successful, a Washington County economic development official said Friday.

The Washington County Economic Development Commission reports more than 55 national and international aviation and aerospace companies have been contacted to see if they are interested in moving into the 430,000-square-foot plant at the Hagerstown Regional Airport, said Tom Riford, marketing director of the commission.

Efforts by the realty company, Colliers-International, have resulted in several queries, Riford said, but he can't be specific because of ongoing negotiations.

"We want to have that facility sold as a working plant," he said. The plant, where metal bonding is done along with aviation and aerospace work is on a 58-acre site, Riford said.

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The Hagerstown plant, known locally as Rohr Inc., is one of three Aerospace Group plants the company is closing, eliminating about 775 jobs.

Locally, the company decision could result in the loss of 190 jobs.

The commission and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development are working together, trying to bring in a new company so that as many jobs as possible can be saved, Riford said. Local company management and union representatives also are helping with the search, he said.

The company announced the streamlining in December. Work is scheduled to stop at the plant in late June.

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