Grover Industries plant in Lynn closes

Published 12:32 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

&dquo;It&squo;s no surprise. We&squo;ve seen the writing on the wall,&dquo; he said. &dquo;We knew it was either going to get a lot better or a lot worse.&dquo;

Grover previously closed another plant around 2001 and the Lynn plant picked up some of its &dquo;residual&dquo; business following that closure. However, the Lynn plant, which supplied natural and dyed yarns, suffered as its customers were increasingly impacted by overseas competition.&bsp; The Lynn plant was Grover&squo;s only remaining plant.

Semmel says county and state officials will work with employees to help them obtain unemployment benefits and re-training. Understandably, he says, many of the employees do not want to stay in the textile industry and prefer to be trained for a new career. Employees can receive extended unemployment benefits as long as they remain in school for training.

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Grover had been one of the largest manufacturing employers in the county. The facility along the Pacolet River is also one of the oldest operating manufacturing plants in the county, having previously been run by Tryon Processing.

Semmel says he believes different companies have manufactured products from that location since sometime after the Civil War.

Economic development director McIntyre says Polk County has set up an industry response team to minimize the impact of the closure.

He says the team, which includes county officials and members of the county&squo;s economic development committee, will work to make sure the needs of the workers are being met and help find a new occupant for the building.

McIntyre says the N.C. Department of Commerce is expected to visit this week to meet with the Grover plant manager and tour the mill. He says the state will work with local officials in preparation for putting the manufacturing plant on the site selection network when the equipment has been sold.

Grover Industries says it wouldl like to sell the 50,000-square-foot building.