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Beloit Alcoa to close in June

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ANN MARIE AMES
December 18, 2008
— The Alcoa Wheel Plant, 1 Reynolds Drive, Beloit, will close in June.

The manufacturing plant provides cast automotive wheels to North American automakers, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery said.


The plant employs 240, he said.


Plant production is scheduled to end June 1. The plant will close June 30, according to the employee notification letter obtained by The Janesville Gazette.


Alcoa tried to sell the cast auto wheel business in 2005 but was unsuccessful, the letter says. After the failed attempt, the plant made significant gains in productivity and cost reduction, but "the current economic crisis has created an insurmountable problem," according to the letter.


Officials are not optimistic that Beloit Alcoa employees will be able to transfer to other Alcoa facilities, according to the letter.


The company plans to sell the property, equipment and land, the letter states.


Severance pay will be negotiated.


Lowery said Alcoa plans to work with the community to see if the property could be sold in a way that keeps jobs in the facility.


The Rock County Job Center soon will work with Alcoa human resources representatives to set up rapid response activities, said Bob Borremans said, executive director of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. The job center will work with dislocated workers to provide career services and retraining, he said.


Reporter Kayla Bunge contributed to this story.

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