CVG to close Monona plant in March 2017

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Last week, Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc. (CVG) announced the closure of its wire harness facility in Monona, effective in late March 2017. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Last week, Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc. (CVG) announced the closure of its wire harness facility in Monona, effective in late March 2017. 

“The move is part of the broader restructuring plan announced late last year, designed to consolidate our manufacturing facilities to improve capacity utilization and reduce overhead costs,” said Laura Macias, chief human resources and public affairs officer for CVG.

“The decision was driven solely by manufacturing capacity considerations and is not a reflection on the commitment or quality of work of our associates in Monona,” she added.

Macias said the Monona facility currently employs 146 people. When the plant closes, she said the company will maintain an administrative staff in the area to support sales, purchasing and other non-production activities.

Earlier this summer, CVG closed its Edgewood facility, eliminating around 60 jobs.

“We’re disappointed this has happened,” said Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson. 

The facility, which was formerly Monona Wire, has been part of the community for years. 

“There will be a trickle-down effect when those jobs go away,” Halvorson stated, noting potential impacts on local businesses, the farmers market, the MFL MarMac School District and local housing market.

It’s important to stay positive, though, Halvorson stressed. There are local jobs available.

“The chamber can be a funnel,” she said. “Call us and we’ll have resources to put you in touch with; we can tell you who’s looking for people. The main thing is to help the employees and make sure they have options.”

Halvorson said State Rep. Patti Ruff has been in contact with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), which can help people fill out forms and assure they receive unemployment checks. IWD can also offer assistance with resumes and job-seeking training.

“Employees impacted by the closure will be eligible for retention pay,” Macias added, “and we will petition for additional assistance under the Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Program on their behalf.”

Macias also noted, “We intend to share job openings in our other manufacturing facilities with local employees, and will encourage them to consider these opportunities.”

Halvorson mentioned she has been in contact with Darla Kelchen at Clayton County Development Group, who offered to provide assistance.  

In addition, Halvorson said MCED will work to locate another industry or help an existing business expand in that location.

“If you’re ready to be your own boss, we can help with that too,” she remarked, citing several vacant buildings in Monona that are available at reasonable prices. MCED has software to help people write a business plan, which can be presented to a banker. “I’d love to help someone if that’s what they want to do.”

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