AGC Flat Glass closes doors in Kingsport
70 people found themselves without jobs Wednesday.
We've learned AGC Flat Glass in Kingsport closed its doors without warning to any of their employees. They tell us, however, that they did not have much of a choice.
"Before the end of the day tomorrow, all of the manufacturing operations will be shut down," said Chris Correnti, vice president of AGC Flat Glass.
Kingsport mayor Dennis Phillips says it does not surprise him. "They made the wrong decision when they elected to go totally solar glass with the Kingsport plant," he explained.
Correnti tells us there were many factors that played into their decision to close the factory. "The demand for solar products in a lot of other parts of the world has dropped dramatically," he said.
He says the demand that remains is being taken away by Chinese imports. "Those imports are very cheap and the demand from our customers is dramatically reduced," said Correnti.
"They can make it in China, import it to the United States for less than if you walked four blocks and buy it from the manufacturer in the United States," said Phillips.
However, AGC is trying to make it right the best they can. We've learned they are opening up another line at their Greenland plant in Hawkins County, which will open in December 2012. "Some of the employees we hired were employees we laid off last year here," said Correnti.
And for the rest, Correnti says they will try their best to help by looking for other employment opportunities within their company at other locations. "Our Abingdon plant maybe, or other facilities we have in other parts of the United States. We do have some needs at some facilities," he explained.
We have learned they have no plans to reopen the plant in the future.
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