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The Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas released a statement Thursday morning regarding the recent announcement that the Detroit Reman plan would shut down by the end of the year.

“Our thoughts and concerns are with the Emporia Detroit Reman employees and family members,” read the statement. “(Tuesday) we met with representatives from Daimler Trucks North America Aftermarket Solutions regarding the closing of the Emporia Detroit Reman operations by year’s end.”

RDA members learned the downsizing would be a phased reduction in stages, beginning in second quarter 2020, to be completed before the end of the fourth quarter 2020. Currently, Detroit Reman has more than110 employees.

(Wednesday) morning community representatives from the City of Emporia, Lyon County, Emporia State University, Flint Hills Technical College, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas, Senator Jeff Longbine, and Representative Mark Schreiber met to discuss the transition of the Detroit Reman employees.

• Detroit Reman plant has a significant economic impact on our region through direct employment.

• Detroit Reman and its employees contribute significantly to the overall quality of place, through their community with donations and volunteers throughout the community.

• The Emporia area, which goes beyond the boundaries of Emporia and Lyon County, has supported Detroit Reman with the assistance of industrial revenue bonds, equipment loans, tax abatements and street improvements.

• Let it be known that the Emporia community will support and partner the re-employment of the employees.

• We are working with all local and state resources to develop an information packet for education, and for future employment opportunities.

• With the historically low unemployment rate, our local employers are seeking employees.

• On Nov. 4, 2019, Simmons Pet Foods announced its transition of wet pet food manufacturing operations in Pennsauken, New Jersey, to its Emporia facility, which will begin in second and third quarter 2020.

Lyon County Commissioner Dan Slater attended the special meeting, he said during Thursday morning’s action session. He echoed the sentiment that the county will help in whatever way possible, that right now his concerns are with the plant’s employees.

“It’s a done deal; it can’t be undone,” he said. “But there are other jobs available, so that’s a good thing.”

(10) comments

bubbadleroy

It is sad that anyone needs to loose their job due to, what I presume, is a lack of people buying the product out put. I just few minutes ago after reading this article, got home from shopping, so I got pissed and got off my butt and went in and read every single item packaging, as to where it was made, guess what, China,,,every damn thing I bought was made in China. There is our answer. If this country would tell China to F off, and sell your junk siht to someone else, then maybe this country would have jobs avaiable.

aulani

There's your answer, right in your post. Are you willing to take the stuff you purchased back to the store and opt instead to buy similar things made in this country? Are those things even manufactured in this country? There's the rub. So many things we use are no longer even made in the U.S. so we end up having to buy Chinese-made stuff whether we want to support China or not. Our hands are now tied by the rope of no alternative . The plethora of dollar stores popping up in every community in this country, even small ones, should give us the same message. People buy because it is less expensive and/or convenient. We can no longer tell China to F off. Who in this country will work for peanuts? We have priced ourselves right out of business. The free toothbrush I got from my dentist after my recent cleaning was, you guessed it, made in China. I wonder if toothbrushes are even manufactured in this country anymore? We must look for alternatives for factory towns such as ours is. Ashville, North Carolina turned themselves into a medical mecca a number of years ago when they found their area drying up because of manufacturing pulling out. Now, they are booming with all kinds of medical needs being filled. As I said, we need to find alternatives. Perhaps ESU should sponsor a think tank in the business department.

booker5m

A city or town can't be happy with what they

They have to keep growing going after new manufacturing companies. If have 100 you need to go for 110 and more. Every time I ask the big boys down I the excuse we don't have the people to fill new factories. BS! We didn't have the people to build wolf creek but when it was announced people came from all over. To make town go you don't depend on the local people to fill all the new jobs. You want more to come into town. Why can't the big boys club down town understand this?

SnowGypsy

Good post! I don't think they want new people or companies to come in as competition. There are houses on the market to be filled, so the loss is going to have to covered or those left share an increasing burden. Also, there are people currently traveling out of town for some distances for jobs, and those people could return "home" to work. Look at the number of high school graduates, vo-tech and college graduates needing jobs every single year which they keep beating their drum about. In one moment it is we need jobs in order to keep people here, and the next we don't have the labor force to bring in any companies. Sadly, many hire thru temp agencies and dump workers before they can become permanent for a better wage and benefits, with those people not having any other choices than to put up with those conditions. I am sure they would be thankful to be counted as potential labor for full-time permanent hours and benefits. Oh, what the heck we really need is 6 more fast food joints, not!

show me

Somehow, towns along the Highway 81 corridor in Kansas (Wichita, Newton, McPherson, Salina, etc) can seem to get quite a few companies to open in their towns. We're often told Emporia has such good access, with a major railroad and Highways 50 and 99, and Interstates 35 and 335. We're also told Emporia has such good educational opportunities with ESU and FHTC.

Something is wrong, somewhere, that causes so man companies to not choose Emporia and choose Highway 81 corridor towns in Kansas instead. Not everything is closer to the Highway 81 corridor towns than it is to Emporia, and some products made there pass right through Emporia daily on their way to some of their customers.

Hardheaded2

I no longer live in Emporia, but I still read the Gazette. Sad news to read. Good luck to all of you.

Thebriars

Being one of those soon to be affected employees it is still a shock to myself and my coworkers. It really hasn't sunk in to us yet. It will be tough when the actual lay offs start

SnowGypsy

But, are there comparable wage jobs in Emporia that will pay the bills?

aulani

My thoughts exactly. What does Dan Slater mean when he said, "there are other jobs..." You can't just make a blanket statement like that and let it sit there with no details. What other jobs? With this company? Other jobs in other companies that have comparable pay? Or just other jobs and who knows what they pay. Waiters and waitresses and counter help in all the fast food places?

BrightDays

And that is a fear, you've worked for a company for 15+ years and are making a decent wage, raising several children and now you are looking at jobs that start out $4-$5 less...and that maybe have less benefits.

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