Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More Bad News for Ellwood City

In case you didn't notice, Ellwood City has a lot to say to start this week.  It's not every day that news trucks from a variety of stations start to descend on the small town.  Less than a week after a parade and light up night festivities were held in anticipation of the holidays, Ellwood City was in the news for all the wrong reasons.

While much of the area was busy reacting to the discovery of a body behind Loccisano's grocery store in Ellwood City, and the resulting charges filed against the perpetrators.  As if that was not bad enough, there was at least one other source of bad news for the area to come later in the day.  And it really wasn't a source of Christmas joy.

According to the Ellwood City Ledger, Heraeus Electro-Nite will be closing on March 2, 2015 and the majority of the 208 employees will be losing their jobs.  Merry Christmas.  The news of another facility in the small town shuttering its doors comes on the heels of a painful 2014 for the town.

The past summer, The Ellwood City Hospital announced layoffs of 67 employees and Sabre Industries also closed its doors affecting more than 80 employees.  Although according to WTAE News, Sabre did offer the affected employees jobs at plants in other locations, but I can't find any information on how many made the relocation to Sioux City, Iowa or Texas.  Still, it was something anyway.

That being said, some quick math, puts the jobs that have or are going to soon vacated Ellwood City at more than 350 just for 2014.  With any luck another company might decide to grab a hold of one of the vacant locations and make a go of it, but if changing conditions in the steel industry forced Heraeus and possible Sabre to move, it's hard to see another company of those calibers moving in.

The timing of the Heraeus announcement definitely sucks for the employees, and hopefully the company treats everyone okay as the shutdown date commences.  However, that leaves the Ellwood City area in something of dark, or at least dimmer, circumstances as the job march from the small town continues out of the region.

So what changes need to be made?  Geographic challenges notwithstanding, the area has something to offer, because there are a few major players still hanging around.  With any luck, those factories attract side business and begin to grow.  Plus several small businesses are making a serious run these days, and hopefully they continue to grow and prosper.

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