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Commercial Vehicle Group to close DeKalb plant

Closing in 3rd quarter of '13 to cost area 75 jobs

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 9:01 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 3, 2013 11:43 p.m. CDT
(Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com )
Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. plans to close its DeKalb manufacturing facility at 310 Dietz Ave.

DeKALB – Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc. could be on its way out of DeKalb later this year.

The Ohio-based vehicle supply company announced its plans to close its DeKalb wire-harness assembly plant, located at 310 Dietz Ave., west of the intersection of Pleasant Street and Peace Road, in a news release Friday.

The factory is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013, leaving 75 workers without jobs.

"We regret having to close our DeKalb facility and understand the impact this action will have on our employees and their families,” Kevin Frailey, the company’s president and general manger of electrical systems, said in a statement.

“However, following a long-term, extensive analysis of our business and changing customer needs, it is a step we have to take to keep CVG an efficient and cost-effective competitor in an evolving global economy."

The plant's production will be moved to facilities in Edgewood, Iowa and Monona, Iowa.

Paul Borek, executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, said he spoke with company officials in March, but they no indication about any imminent changes to the facility.

"We're very disappointed about the plant closure announcement and we're concerned about the hardship on workers and families," he said. "However, we're optimistic the economy can absorb this action."

The facility's closure comes at a time when positive economic trends have been bolstering the county's workforce, as many DeKalb County manufacturers are hiring, he said.

"Despite this [economic] improvement, it doesn't mean an individual company doesn't have to make adjustments in the face of competition at times," Borek said.

Borek said the operators of Illinois WorkNet Center, at 1701 E. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, are prepared to assist the Commercial Vehicle Group workers with job searching and training resources.

But he hopes there might still be an opportunity to salvage the plant in some way.

"We do want to determine if there's anything that can be done to maintain this operation," he said.

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