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PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The Diamond Crystal plant in Perrysburg Township is gearing up to close, and Friday marked the first round of layoffs for nearly 100 workers.
"We were all like family," said Joann Bauer, a 15-year employee at Diamond Crystal.
Tom and Joann Bauer met at the plant and ended up marrying. Combined, they worked 46 years at the plant. Tom's brother also worked there. Now, none of them have jobs.
They say it's hard because of all the years they dedicated to a company they thought was secure and now they don't know how to start over. It's especially hard for Tom, who was just four years shy of retirement.
"It's going to be tough finding a job," said Tom Bauer, a 31-year employee at Diamond Crystal. "After all these years, I thought it couldn't happen, but it did happen."
His brother, John, a 29-year employee at Diamond Crystal, says he may go back to school.
"I asked my daughter the other day, 'What do you think about having your dad in one of your classes?' We laughed about it, but it could happen," John said.
Joann says she doesn't know how to switch gears so easily.
"It's like we're going through a death, a grieving period, and I think all of us kind of need some down time," she said.
John snapped a photo of friends leaving the plant for the last time.
"We're just going to have to take it one day at a time and just move on. That's all we can do," said Joann.
A total of 150 people worked at the Diamond Crystal plant. According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the final round of layoffs will be in September.