HON Company in Florence to Close; 190 Workers to Lose Jobs

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – More manufacturing jobs are leaving Florence after the second announcement of a shut-down in just over a month.

After a record setting 2013 in job creation in the Shoals, HON company became the second corporation in the first half of 2014 to say they are closing their plant.

HON produces commercial office furniture at their Florence plant and employ 190 people.

Steve holt, president of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce said both Hillshire Brands and HON Company were in the midst of restructuring when the announcements came down.

“They`re both dealing with larger companies with multiple plants at excess capacity,” explained Holt, “and we ended up paying the price on this end of it in our community.”

Gary Carlson, a spokesman for HON, said their corporate team spent a long time studying their structure, and made the hard decision to close the Florence plant.

Carlson went on to say the plant`s closure had nothing to do with the exceptional employees who report to work there each day.

He said the decision came down to cost of operations and the ability to move production to an existing facility.

“At least you know that it wasn’t because of the work-force that they are leaving. It`s another business decision and that`s a reality of life, that`s the hard pill to swallow,” stated Holt.

A reality 190-employees will now have to face at some point before the end of 2014.

HON Company officials said they will begin shutting down operations in phases which could begin in the next 3-months.

Employees will be offered a severance package which includes transition help.

Hillshire Brands announced on April 4th they would be shutting down operations of their Florence plant by the end of 2014, with 1,100 people losing their jobs.

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