BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Officials with DAK Americas confirmed Wednesday afternoon its plant located in Navassa will close in September.
The facility employs 600 people who make polyester staple fiber and pet resin for use in soft drinks and water bottles.
Officials said the market conditions and economy dictated the decision to close.
A letter given to employees say the closure of the site and job eliminations are expected to take place over the next several months and be complete this fall.
DAK officials said that even though employees had somewhat of a heads up about the possibility that the facility could close, it's still hard to take in the news.
"We had told them in February the kind of evaluations we were doing," said Jorge Young, President of DAK Americas. "But today is difficult even for them. They have been very professional and they have responded very maturely."
Young also noted that the decision was strictly based on business, not employee performance.
"This is an economic decision, and it really has nothing to do with the performance of the employees on the site," he said. "They have been very committed, very supportive and very capable employees for many years."
Workers will be given help with job training and will receive severance packages. DAK officials also said the company will continue paying for insurance for an unspecified length of time.
Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams made the following statement Wednesday after DAK Americas' announcement that it would close its plant in northern Brunswick County:
Obviously, I was saddened to learn that DAK Americas has made the decision to close its plant in northern Brunswick County. I grew up a few miles from the site, which was owned by DuPont at the time, and the plant has been a major employer in Brunswick County for my entire life.
My primary concern is for the well-being of those who will lose their jobs as a result of the plant's closure. DAK Americas officials have assured us that they will work to assist displaced employees with their career transition. DAK officials have also said they will work with us to explore further redevelopment opportunities for the site and that they will seek to be good stewards of the environment during the process of closing the plant down.
While today's announcement is not what we wanted to hear, I am confident in our county and our people. Brunswick County has a lot to offer, and our entire economic development team is working hard to attract new industries to Brunswick County to create jobs for our citizens.
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