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Seco Tools announces closure at Lenoir City facility

10:32 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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Seco Tools announces closure at Lenoir City facility

Seco Tools announced this week it will close its Lenoir City facility, which city officials say will impact about 75 jobs.

The company, which produces carbide cutting machinery, announced the news to the factory Tuesday.

Director of Engineering and Marketing Mike Parker explained the move in an email to 10News:

"The production of Standard Tools will be relocated to other existing global production units of Seco Tools AB. At the same time, Seco will relocate the remaining Custom Tooling unit to its North American headquarters in Troy, MI. This  transition will begin July 2013 and is expected to take until the second half of 2014."

This marks the second plant facility in Loudon County to close within the past year. In March 2012, Yale Locks announced its closure, which cut more than 200 jobs in the community.

"Then all of a sudden the plant closes and they've got roughly a year to work out, and then they're out the door," remembers Marvin Whitaker, a long-time Lenoir City resident.

With Seco's announcement, he says the community faces another tough year.

"That's another 70-plus people that will have to scurry to find employment for themselves, care for their families, their children," he said. "It's just another lick in the past that Lenoir City's had to endure."

Whitaker, and fellow Calvary Baptist Church member Bill Wilkinson, describe the area population's deep ties to the plant, including people like them who did not work there.

"You're going to know somebody, or the family members of somebody," Wilkinson said. "And of course our businesses are going to be a part of that, the economy kind of dropping out for a little while in some of their lives."

At a small church service Wednesday, Wilkinson and other members prayed for the families involved.

"We prayed for these people and these families who are going to be without jobs, because they don't know where to go now," he said.

"We have a resilience here in our county and our city that's evident, because so many people stay here for many many years. It's a good community to live in," Wilkinson said.

Whitaker adds to that sentiment:

"We'll get over it, we'll move on. There will be something else come along, and people might have to spread out and go a little further to find the employment but they'll find it. And they'll put their lives back together and we'll go again," he said.

"We're tough people. We'll bounce back. That's the story of Lenoir City."

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