Aluminum plant set for shutdown - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Aluminum plant set for shutdown

October 11, 2002

MOULTRIE-

Trucks carrying aluminum and other supplies were turned away at the Moultrie Hydro Aluminum plant Friday.

"They said we can't let you in right now because we are ready to have a meeting," truck driver Ryan Carlson said. "So I pulled back to wait and see what would happen."

Hydro's 121 workers emerged from the meeting with packets in hand, telling workers like 23 year veteran Naomi Weaver, they'll soon lose their jobs.

 Weaver told us the letter said, "It's a difficult time, we hate to do it, but company hasn't been making any profits." 

"I knew it was coming, just because of how it was going with work," LaShonda Hayes said.

"They say sales went down," Joey Wilcox said. 

The company's corporate headquarters in Baltimore says the plant in Moultrie is a victim of a slumping construction market, especially in the commercial industry. The plant specializes in extrusion, shaping aluminum into a useful products like frames for windows and doorways. But in the past two years, Hydro says Moultrie has the been the worst of its 11 plants with business down 20 percent.

"The department I work in, extrusion, will close by December 20th, by mid 2003 they'll cease all operations," Weaver said.

So what will the 23-year-veteran do? "Not afraid of what will happen, just going to ask God to fulfill my needs," she said. 

That will begin with a crisis team, which will be brought in next week to help employees find other work. For some the job search could start then, as the plant begins scaling back operations to prepare for its closing.

The aluminum plant opened in 1963 under the name Tucker Aluminum and became Wells Aluminum in 1976. Hydro Aluminum acquired the plant from Wells two years ago.