General Electric is closing its manufacturing plant in Salem within in the next 12 to 24 months. . The company made the announcement this morning.
GE is one of the areas largest employers and has been in Salem since 1955. In March, the company announced that it would permanently lay off 42 employees due to a large decline in orders.
With the plant closing, 265 employees will lose their jobs while 42 percent are eligible for retirement and will receive severance packages.
The official statement from GE states, "Based on the ongoing challenges in the power industry and a significant decline in orders at this facility, we have announced our intent to close our manufacturing facility in Salem, VA, and move the remaining work to other GE locations or to supplier partners. If requested by the local union, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, GE will engage in a 60-day decision bargaining period with the union regarding the intended closure."
The statement goes on to say that, "This action is difficult and does not reflect the performance, dedication, and hard work of our employees. If the site is closed, impacted employees, nearly half of whom are eligible for retirement, would be provided with a comprehensive severance package, nicluding transition support to new employment."
The Salem plant designed and produced control systems and integrated circuit boards for gas and steam generators, pitch systems for wind turbine blade controls, starters for gas turbines and down-tower assembly for wind power conversation systems.
GE logo: Getty Images