Textron Closures

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Hundreds of stateline workers learned Tuesday they'll be out of a job next year. Textron Fastening Systems says it will close two of its Rockford plants in phases over the next 12 months.

Seven hundred local workers will be out of a job next year when Textron closes its large diameter facility on 18th Avenue and its precision formed products division on Samuelson Road, but workers aren't the only ones who feel the impact.

Textron workers got the bad news at an impromptu morning meeting. Two Rockford plants will close at the end of 2004, and workers will be without a job. Company leaders say the closures are a part of a restructuring plan to help the company better compete globally. They say Textron simply has too many plants and not enough work.

Weir says: "it's hard decision but one we had to make to ensure the future of the company."

Two other Textron plants in Rockford have been experiencing layoffs throughout the year, as they prepare to close next month. Add the latest 700 jobs to the heap and the stateline economy takes a serious hit.

"If they do find jobs here, most of the jobs will provide less income than they were earning in manufacturing."

Van Der Ohe says the only positive thing is that these workers have some notice about losing their jobs. Textron says it will keep support staff for the company in Rockford and try to keep work from the plants in the U.S.