Changing Times

By  | 

For some, the fact that German-owned Schott Industrial Glass is closing down it's American-based manufacturing operations, is more bad news.

"Losing so many jobs to China and Mexico, who knows what's going to happen tomorrow," says Ed Newton.

But it isn't just Schott. General Electric is considering closing down its data processing center, and for the second time in five years, Kraton Polymers is on the selling block. Add to that, the recent news that Pechiney Rolled Products in Ravenswood could again be up for sale.

"We have a small used car lot, and business has been low for us and others, too," says Susan Miller.

Bert Glaze, a retired Marietta College professor, also chairs the Ohio Valley Business Roundtable. He's seen changes in the local economy before, and been affected by them himself.

"In the '49 recession, I got laid off and suffered severely for eight days. I was married with a young child, and I know exactly what all these people are going through," explains Gaze.

Dr. Glaze says local plants have been sold, downsized, and even closed before. But while it's resulted in some economic pain, the area has been able to move on.

But that doesn't provide much hope for the laid-off Schott workers, who have seen these closings and cutbacks elsewhere.

"Our job market in this area is already flooded with employees from previous closures of plants. We're getting to the bottom of the barrel, and the opportunities are just not there," says Rick Hill.