Gothenburg City Administrator Bruce Clymer says he, along with all the other community members, were shocked upon hearing the news that their Baldwin Filters’ plant will be closing by October 2018. He says his first thought is with the local families affected from the loss of 140 jobs. He is hopeful that the displaced workers will continue living in the community while finding other work or drive to transferred jobs at the Kearney Baldwin Filters plant. Still he describes it as a “huge loss for our community.” The Gothenburg operations will be consolidated into the Kearney plant over the next year.
Parker Hannifin Corporation acquired Baldwin Filters’ parent company CLARCOR earlier this year. Aiden Gormley, Parker’s Global Communications Director says the acquisition created an excess manufacturing and redundant capability across both businesses. He adds that the plan to close manufacturing in Gothenburg in no way reflects on the performance of the employees there.
Gothenburg Sen. Matt Williams agrees. He says he wants “people to understand that this is not the result of Gothenbug or Dawson County doing anything wrong. That this is a corporate consolidation that is happening. It happens in the world we live in today.” Sen. Williams says he’s confident that with assistance from the Gothenburg Improvement Company, Dawson Area Development and other community leaders the community was see success again as it has in the past.
Clymer says Baldwin Filters was a great fit for the community and finding something similar to replace it will be tough. “The Parker company has been historically a very good partner and supporting many of our community activities. The employees are certainly a large part of our community and so this is a shock for us.” The 140 Gothenburg employees will be offered severance pay and other out-placement support according to the company.
Baldwin Filters opened in 1989 in a newly built building on the southern edge of Gothenburg following a long recruitment effort by local leaders. Sen. Williams, who has long been involved the community’s business recruitment and economic development, says it was the first successful business recruitment at the time and “kicked-off the new generation” of business recruitment in Gothenburg. Over the years, Sen. Williams says “Baldwin Filters has been a vital part and an instrumental part of our community.” Sen. Williams says he’s confident that with assistance from the Gothenburg Improvement Company, Dawson Area Development and other community leaders the community was see success again as it has in the past. He says Gothenburg will work hard to find suitable employment for displaced workers, help Baldwin Filters management in any way possible and then work long-term towards replacing that industry in the community.