It's a slogan we all know: "They keep going and going and going." But Energizer will soon be gone in St. Albans. The company is closing its battery and flashlight plant by September 2013. That means 165 part- and full-time employees will lose their jobs sometime between now and then.
"It's just another blow to little old St. Albans and I don't know what these people are going to do," said Debbie Wright of Georgia, Vt.
This is the plant where the long-lasting lithium battery was first produced in 1989. But with more and more built-in rechargeable batteries in electronic devices like cellphones and cameras, demand is down, which means production is being consolidated.
"They expressed a high level of satisfaction with the workforce, felt good about the environment. They're keeping the Bennington plant. This is about the fact that that facility was dedicated to a product line that's diminishing quickly," Vt. Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller said.
The blow for St. Albans is just one piece of the puzzle-- Energizer will be cutting about 1,500 jobs worldwide or 10 percent of its workforce.
"Energizer has been in St. Albans Town for over 60 years and generations of people have worked there. It's sad-- it's one of our largest employers," said Carrie Johnson, the St. Albans town manager.
Not to mention it contributes a significant amount of taxes-- over $210,000 between property and equipment taxes.
Although Energizer is closing, local officials don't want people to lose perspective. They say there are many positive things going on in the city and the town. For example, Mylan Technologies is expanding and adding 150 new jobs.
This news also comes on the heels of Wal-Mart in St. Albans breaking ground; a multimillion-dollar expansion at the Cooperative Creamery and the Brownfield's Restoration and Redevelopment project to name a few.
"We need good jobs with benefits. People can't survive on a Wal-Mart salary," Wright said.
Energizer's Vermont facility has seen a 5 percent-8 percent decline for the past few years and projected a steep decline going forward.
Energizer asked all of its employees to stay home Friday. They will receive severance packages when they're laid off. The state says they are working to get another manufacturer in the plant as soon as possible and are looking at possible options in Canada.
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