Elyria’s 3M plant employs 150 people, but they could all be out of work if the company shuts its doors this summer.
3M announced plans to close the facility on Lowell Street in November.
“We’re using every resource we can to try to persuade them to stay,” said Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda.
Now, Mayor Brinda is reaching out to the White House for help to keep the plant in Elyria.
3M said it’s moving production of raw wood pulp material, used by other companies to make sponges and other products, to its New York plant.
While they haven't said they would move any of the work out of the country, they do have plants in Mexico and Canada.
Brinda says she’s heard that if the New York plant can’t handle the increased production, those jobs could get moved out of the country
“With the President making a really strong case for persuading companies to maintain production in the United States and threatening penalties for those who actually produce outside and want to bring their goods back in the United States we think it’s an important conversation to have,” Brinda said.
Since President Donald Trump has made keeping jobs in America a priority, Brinda called the White House looking for help.
Interestingly, 3M’s CEO was reportedly invited by Trump to join his Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.
Brinda did get a call back from the White’s House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
“He is trying to arrange a conference call among the White House, the City of Elyria, and some additional 3M leadership in Minneapolis so we’re waiting to hear,” Brinda said.
Losing 3M would cost the city nearly a million dollars a year in income tax and water usage.
A 3M spokesperson said 3M is eventually getting out of the wood pulp material business due to increasing competition from Europe, and that closing the plant is a business decision.
Still, Brinda isn’t going down without trying to do something to keep 3M in Elyria, and neither are 3M employees,
Workers made a Youtube video urging Trump to meet with 3M leadership to see if anything can be done.
“We have heard you say, you want to make America great again, first you can start by keeping American jobs in America,” 3M workers said.
As of now, 3M plans to close the Elyria plant by the end of June.
You can read 3M’s statement on the closing of the Elyria facility below.
In November 2016, 3M announced its intention to exit the majority of its cellulose block business and focus on its finished sponge products, such as those in its Scotch-brite™ and O-Cel-O™ brands.
This business decision is a result of an increasingly challenging landscape for block manufacturing as our competitors have added European capacity. It is negatively impacting our OEM block business in Europe, which is primarily supplied by our 3M Elyria facility.
After meeting with the union representing Elyria employees, the decision was made to phase out of Elyria manufacturing operations by the end of the second quarter of 2017. This will require consolidating the remaining block manufacturing and converting operations into our facility in Tonawanda, NY.