The Ball Corp. notified the Texas Workforce Commission that it will lay off 85 employees at its plant on Fisher Road in Longview but has not announced what day it will close the plant.
Ball, which bought the beverage manufacturing plant in June 2016 from Rexam, notified the commission July 18 in a letter to comply with the provisions of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
The company based in Broomfield, Colorado, said in late August 2017 that it would cease production this year at its plants in Longview; Birmingham, Alabama; and Chatsworth, California; and would begin construction of a packaging facility in Goodyear, Arizona, west of Phoenix.
Ball said at the time that it planned to close the Longview plant by the end of the second quarter, June 30. The Longview plant, which opened in 1972, had 100 employees at the time and has produced cans in two sizes.
Company spokesman Scott McCarty said in an email Tuesday, “I’m checking on how many people we have in Longview now. As time has gone on since the announcement last summer, some people have understandably found jobs elsewhere. The plant is expected to cease operations late in the third quarter, subject to customer needs. That’s more than a year after the original announcement. The plant has stayed open later than originally announced due to customer needs.”
Meanwhile, Workforce Solution East Texas has scheduled four rapid response sessions at Ball for Sept. 5 and 6 because of the layoff notification, said Lindsay Vanderbilt, director of communications for the East Texas Council of Governments.
The sessions provide information to displaced employees about publicly funded services to help them land new jobs; how to file for unemployment benefits; professional workshops that cover resume preparation, interviewing and salary negotiations; emergency crisis counseling opportunities; labor market information; and information about training opportunities. Workshops on financial planning and stress management also will be available.
“We help try to place them,” Vanderbilt said. She said remaining Ball employees also may visit the East Texas Workforce Solutions office at 2430 S. High St.
Future use of the Ball plant is something that the Longview Economic Development Corp. is exploring, LEDCO President and CEO Wayne Mansfield said.
“We have been working with (Ball’s) director of real estate,” Mansfield said, “trying to get some marketing materials together.”
Mansfield said “nothing definite” has emerged from the talks .
“It’s a good building and it in a great location,” he said. “I don’t think it will remain on the market long.”
Ball said on its website that its supplies “innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers,” as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government.
Ball and its subsidiaries employ 17,500 people worldwide and reported 2017 net sales of $11 billion. For information, visit www.ball.com.