Central Kentucky Plant To Close, Idling 85 Workers

(JUNCTION CITY, Ky., September 5th, 2003, 12:30 p.m.) -- Penn Ventilator Company will close by the end of the year, leaving 85 people without jobs.

In the past year, the company has closed plants in Minnesota, Indiana and Texas.

Nearly all the employees at the local plant are members of the National Sheet Metal Workers Local 433.

Union representative David Snyder said that workers were surprised by the announcement made Thursday. Snyder said the union and company will meet in several weeks to talk about severance packages.

Bob Williams, with Air Systems Components L.P. in Dallas, the company that manages Penn Ventilator plants, said the closure was had nothing to do with job performance.

"It's just strictly economics," he said.

The company hasn't decided where it will move the Junction City operations.

Penn manufactures fans and ventilation systems for fast food restaurants, hotels, factories and the military.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)