UPDATE: Salisbury Manufacturing Plant to Close - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UPDATE: Salisbury Manufacturing Plant to Close

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The Labinal Power Systems manufacturing plant on Glen Avenue in Salisbury, Md. (Photo: Google Maps) The Labinal Power Systems manufacturing plant on Glen Avenue in Salisbury, Md. (Photo: Google Maps)

SALISBURY, Md.- Labinal Power Systems on Wednesday announced plans to transfer operations from its Salisbury, Md. plant to its Denton, Texas location, resulting in the Salisbury plant closure by Dec. 31, 2016. The closure will affect approximately 650 employees who work at the facility located on Glen Avenue.

 LPS will systematically move operations from Salisbury to Denton beginning May 2015, the company said. “In order to maintain our competitive position in the aerospace industry, we must restructure our North America operations and consolidate our wire manufacturing business into one U.S. facility,” said Jorge Ortega, vice president of Labinal Power Systems North America.

"It's going to affect me in a big way," said Liz Harshman, who has worked at the plant for three years. "I don't know where we're going to work. "
The aerospace engineering company is a global leader in developing power systems for civil and military aircraft. Located off Glen Avenue, it is one of the largest and most diverse employers in Salisbury.

Mayor Jim Ireton is disappointed about the Labinal's new move. County and city leaders are already thinking about ways to bring business back to the facility, once the company is gone.

"My biggest concern right night is 95 percent of the people who work here live in Wicomico County, and we've got to keep them here and make sure they're feeding their kids, paying their bills and mortgages." Ireton said. "We're going to figure out how to market this particular facility."

As part of the federal spending bill for 2015, the company was supposed to receive a portion of $994 million that would go toward the manufacturing of 32 Chinook helicopters. Labinal is one of 450 suppliers across 40 states contracted to build a component of the military aircraft, according to a spokesperson at Sen. Barbara Mikulski's office. It is unclear where the money will go now.

In a written statement, Sen. Mikulski (D-MD) said, “I am deeply discouraged and surprised by the news of job losses and the closure of the Labinal facility in Salisbury. I will be in close contact with the leadership at Labinal to get information and answers for the workers and their families on how their lives will be affected and economic security for those who lose their jobs.”

Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) weighed in on the decision as well. In a statement, he said “I am disappointed that Labinal is leaving Salisbury. I am hopeful that the new governor is able to create a more job friendly environment, and reverse the trend of private sector job loss that we have seen in Maryland in the last few years.”

Salisbury employees will receive transition packages, job training support and other transition-related assistance, the company said. They also said job counselors and educational specialists will be on site to offer assistance. This operational transfer will result in job growth at the Denton, Texas plant, according to the company.

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