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Teleflex closing Wash. Co. plant

January 08, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Teleflex Marine, which makes boat steering controls, is closing its Washington County plant this year.

The company filed a workforce notice last month with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation saying 93 employees will lose jobs.

Although the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission's 2008 Business & Industry Directory lists Teleflex Marine as having 169 employees, the number apparently has decreased since that information was compiled.

Peter Thomas, the executive director of the Western Maryland Consortium, a government agency that helps displaced workers, said he talked to Teleflex Marine's remaining local employees Tuesday about the job-search process and the consortium's training services.

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Thomas said Teleflex Marine's plant on Western Maryland Parkway has been operating at about half capacity and will be consolidated with another plant near Philadelphia.

On Dec. 17, parent company Teleflex Inc., which offers medical, aerospace and commercial services and products, announced it would eliminate about 150 net positions.

The workforce notice filed with the Maryland DLLR says the Washington County plant closure is effective Feb. 6.

But Thomas said the company plans to do the layoffs in phases and expects to close the local plant in June.

Workforce notices give employees time to adjust to losing their jobs.

Teleflex Inc. spokesman Jake Elguicze declined to comment Thursday.

West Marine, which distributes marine and boating products, also closed a Washington County facility recently.

West Marine's distribution center at 19224 Longmeadow Road, north of Hagerstown, shut down at the end of 2008, company spokeswoman Laurie Fried said an e-mail Thursday.

Forty people were working there in August, when the company announced the closure. One employee accepted the company's offer to transfer to West Marine's distribution center in Rock Hill, S.C., Fried wrote.

Besides Rock Hill, the company's other remaining distribution center is in Hollister, Calif.

"The closure was due to an effort to consolidate our (distribution center) operations, cut costs and operate more efficiently," Fried wrote.

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