Steelcase closing Kentwood East plant - 400 jobs cut

5:05 PM, Jan 12, 2011   |    comments
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  • Steelcase's Kentwood East plant on 52nd Street.
    

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - Office furniture maker Steelcase announced this morning the closing of three plants, including the Kentwood East plant on 52nd Street near Broadmoor Avenue.

Also closing are plants in Ontario, Canada and Grand Prairie, Texas. 

A spokesperson for Steelcase tells WZZM 13 that 400 local jobs will be cut.  350 more jobs will be cut at the other two locations.  300 to 400 jobs are moving to plants in Mexico and others are moving to a plant in Athens, Alabama.

The closings will take place over the next 18 months.  Employees were notified at 8:00am Wednesday morning.

Steelcase employee Ron Kozlowski said, "At 53 you're pushed out into the mix but what's out there- temp jobs? I mean what can you say?"

Steelcase employee Robert Molenkamp said, "We feel like all the hard work we did was for naught."

Once implemented, the closings are expected to save Steelcase $35 million annually, even though the buyouts and closings will cost the company $45 million first.

Steelcase says that Grand Rapids will still be the largest center of operations for the company with just under 3,000 hourly and salaried employees on staff.

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